Wednesday, March 30, 2005

where the dingoes & crows won't molest me

Following the Schaivo schemozzle myself and other family and friends have been working out how to make very clear our wishes in an Advanced Healthcare Directive (AHD). Whilst looking at the current state of play for NFR I came across this AHD by Michael Mackay, a senior doctor in an Australian Emergency Department.

"Should I have my cardiac arrest while going about my duties in the emergency department — immediate defibrillation please! And maybe a whiff of oxygen. (If I don’t survive, I will be quite surprised.)

Should I arrest in the hospital dining room, forgo the mouth- to-mouth (I am squeamish about these things). I may (grudgingly) accept some chest compression, until the defibrillator arrives. But if you have not got me back after three shocks — call off the circus. Go back and finish your lunch.

If I arrest in the street, you will do what you will. But I won’t be happy. I doubt you will be able to get a defibrillator to me quickly enough. If I arrest at home, I know it will be very difficult for you to do nothing. But it will be 15 minutes before the ambulance arrives. And to end up brain damaged on a ventilator is something I do not want. (But if you are clever enough to call the ambulance so that I arrest after it arrives, by all means use the defibrillator.) When I am in a bed in a hospital ward “old and grey and full of sleep”, do not use your hands to commit violence upon me — use them to comfort me."

The above was taken from a complete article on A Time To Die by
Mackay in the eMJA .

Discussion on the Schiavo case, occasionally the broader Not For Resuscitation and (sometimes) related palliative care issues at
Troppo, Mark Bahnisch's new blog Larvatus Prodeo plus Currency Lad and Saint.

Another eMJA article on the Victorian Supreme Court ruling on tube feeding.

A variety of
Advanced Healthcare Directives (AHD) (Advance Directives, Living Wills) templates and information from the Voluntary Euthanasia Society of Victoria. Forms and information about an enduring power of attorney (medical treatment) from The Public Advocate Office Victoria