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Old 07-30-2022, 02:18 AM
 
Location: Alberta, Canada
3,178 posts, read 2,588,966 times
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Wills and estates should be pretty easy, but so often, they aren't.

A will is what you want to have happen to your property after you die. It's no longer of any use to you, so you give it to somebody or something: "I leave everything to my wife; of if she has predeceased me, to my children in equal shares." Or, "I leave 50% of my estate to my sister with the remainder to be equally divided between her minor children, in trust."

A power-of-attorney (POA) is where you give somebody the authority over your financial affairs, in trust. Often, these are "springing," where once conditions X,Y, and Z are fulfilled, the Power of Attorney with a trustee comes into effect. Note that these often come into play when Alzheimer's is involved--the testator is alive and healthy, but can no longer make reasonable and rational decisions about their financial and other affairs. So a POA works in their best interests, where a trusted friend or relative looks after their affairs. In trust, of course.

A personal directive, or a "living will," is what happens when the testator can no longer make decisions for themself--like a coma, or a living vegetable, or something. It tells the doctors to "pull the plug" or similar; or not, as the directive directs. But it's been written and signed and attested, when the patient was of sound mind and capable of doing so, and as such, is legally sound.

Like I said, "should be pretty easy," and most times they are. But sometimes, they aren't.

Last edited by ChevySpoons; 07-30-2022 at 02:35 AM..
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Old 07-30-2022, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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Originally Posted by OTownDays View Post
I'm aware, and I have concerns as someone with disabilities and a will to continue living - no shade towards anyone in more complicated and distressing circumstances, I just want to point out, that some people with chronic medical conditions are not necessarily contemplating MAID, and we are here too.

Having said that, most people probably know of someone-who-knows-someone-who has made use of MAID by now. I do.
Very good to add your voice.

If you go to the Retirement forum on this site, you will find no end of people who declare that if the time comes that they are helpless or disabled or having to have their basic needs taken care of by others, why they will just end their lives.

My Canadian partner is here to say, "no, you might not when you are actually in that position." The will to live is strong. He's a writer who can no longer type, a fisherman who can't tie a knot or even get into his damn boat anymore, a photographer who can't manage to hold a camera steady. He is not yet in any pain except for a bedsore that flares up occasionally, and he has never indicated any desire to end his life, just sadness, and sometimes anger, that he was stricken with this rare, irreversible condition. But he watches movies and sports, listens to music, observes the birds and critters we feed. The pain will likely come one day when the cancer decides to make its presence felt, and maybe then he will feel differently, but for now, incapacitation isn't enough to make him want to check out.
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Old 07-30-2022, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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Originally Posted by netwit View Post
My husband has a Health Care Directive which grants me the right, without restrictions, to make any decisions regarding his health. He also wants very much to live.

I was very pissed off the last time at one of the EMTs who was strongly pushing me to have him sign a DNR statement. I had already told them that if something happened that was not survivable to let him go. He is old. He has many issues that are simply not fixable. He understands that. But if it is something treatable, treat it.

And he told me that the Health Care Directive had no meaning in the ambulance and that regardless of what I told them in the house, they would have to try to keep him alive even in a situation like an unsurvivable heart attack, which would cause him a lot of pain.

I've also has emergency room doctors try to scare us into a DNR and I told them he trusts me more than he trusts you. My husband still gets enjoyment out of life.
My mother was on dialysis. She had an Advanced Care Directive, which stipulated that she should not be kept alive by artificial or heroic means. However, in my state of New Jersey, which may be different from the Canadian provinces, a DNR is a separate document. Her kidney doctor suggested she not sign it, asking, "if you had a heart issue and a thump on the chest could bring you back, wouldn't you want that?" Despite being on dialysis and having had a quad bypass, she was still living a pretty full life in her late 80s, lunching with friends, enjoying grandchildren and great-grandchildren, reading books, playing cards and Scrabble. She had all her wits about her to the end of her life, and drove until she was 90, about six months before her death, even driving herself to and from dialysis three times a week unless the weather was really bad or she felt unwell.

Then in her last six months, she began to fail after a fall that cracked her pelvis, then she had gall bladder issues, and shingles and a few other things. She was simply beginning to deteriorate. She had somehow injured her knee, and my brother who lived with her called to ask me to come help for a few days, and while I was there we put her to bed one night after dialysis because she felt especially tired, and three hours later I woke up and checked her and found that she had died in her sleep.

I called 911, and even though she was most certainly deceased when they got there, because she had no DNR, they had to go through the motions of doing CPR. After about a minute, they said, "Do you want us to continue?" I said "No, she is GONE, and she was gone when I found her and when you got here, so please just stop." But the point is that because there was no DNR, they had to go through those motions.

My bf just had the lawyers here last week. He had never had a will done, and he got the POA for his sons and the Directive for his medical decisions should he become unable to make them. I am just as bad and never did any of this myself, figuring that since I have only the one daughter, everything just goes to her. But now I've called my lawyer and they've sent me the forms to complete. I also have to consider the fact that there might be issues were I to drop dead or become seriously ill while in Canada that my daughter would have to deal with. Gave her phone number to my bf's sons and told them to drive my body to the border and toss it over to her. J/K. But in case of illness in Canada, I would have to self-pay and then submit a form to my health insurance in the states, and I have to get that all together so she knows where my health card is, how to access the forms, etc.
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Old 07-30-2022, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
My mother was on dialysis. She had an Advanced Care Directive, which stipulated that she should not be kept alive by artificial or heroic means. However, in my state of New Jersey, which may be different from the Canadian provinces, a DNR is a separate document. Her kidney doctor suggested she not sign it, asking, "if you had a heart issue and a thump on the chest could bring you back, wouldn't you want that?" Despite being on dialysis and having had a quad bypass, she was still living a pretty full life in her late 80s, lunching with friends, enjoying grandchildren and great-grandchildren, reading books, playing cards and Scrabble. She had all her wits about her to the end of her life, and drove until she was 90, about six months before her death, even driving herself to and from dialysis three times a week unless the weather was really bad or she felt unwell.

Then in her last six months, she began to fail after a fall that cracked her pelvis, then she had gall bladder issues, and shingles and a few other things. She was simply beginning to deteriorate. She had somehow injured her knee, and my brother who lived with her called to ask me to come help for a few days, and while I was there we put her to bed one night after dialysis because she felt especially tired, and three hours later I woke up and checked her and found that she had died in her sleep.

I called 911, and even though she was most certainly deceased when they got there, because she had no DNR, they had to go through the motions of doing CPR. After about a minute, they said, "Do you want us to continue?" I said "No, she is GONE, and she was gone when I found her and when you got here, so please just stop." But the point is that because there was no DNR, they had to go through those motions.

My bf just had the lawyers here last week. He had never had a will done, and he got the POA for his sons and the Directive for his medical decisions should he become unable to make them. I am just as bad and never did any of this myself, figuring that since I have only the one daughter, everything just goes to her. But now I've called my lawyer and they've sent me the forms to complete. I also have to consider the fact that there might be issues were I to drop dead or become seriously ill while in Canada that my daughter would have to deal with. Gave her phone number to my bf's sons and told them to drive my body to the border and toss it over to her. J/K. But in case of illness in Canada, I would have to self-pay and then submit a form to my health insurance in the states, and I have to get that all together so she knows where my health card is, how to access the forms, etc.
My husband is "officially" considered palliative, meaning he is expected to have 6 months or less to live. That comes along with a "death was not unexpected" form, which means no one has to thump around on anything, the police don't have to get involved, and if he dies at home, I only have to call the funeral home. I can also sit with the body for as long as I like and have other people come to view the body before it's taken to the funeral home.

I get that EMTs might have to thump around on the body without a Directive naming me as being in charge of health decisions, but if I am right there as they are loading him in the ambulance, with Directive in hand, I don't understand at all why he would say they have to thump hard enough to break ribs, which apparently often happens during thumping?

He has a very weak heart. He has CHF, among other things. And he is much older than myself. He has no possibility of surviving a heart attack.

Maybe your SO wants to check out the "death was not unexpected" form. It doesn't have anything to do with DNRs or any treatment. It can only make things easier for you or his sons if the end comes at home.

ETA I also have a POA, which as Chevy pointed out, is something else altogether.

ETA The Health Care Directive and the DNR and the "death was not unexpected" document are all separate documents here too.

Last edited by netwit; 07-30-2022 at 12:07 PM..
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Old 07-31-2022, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Elsewhere
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netwit View Post
My husband is "officially" considered palliative, meaning he is expected to have 6 months or less to live. That comes along with a "death was not unexpected" form, which means no one has to thump around on anything, the police don't have to get involved, and if he dies at home, I only have to call the funeral home. I can also sit with the body for as long as I like and have other people come to view the body before it's taken to the funeral home.

I get that EMTs might have to thump around on the body without a Directive naming me as being in charge of health decisions, but if I am right there as they are loading him in the ambulance, with Directive in hand, I don't understand at all why he would say they have to thump hard enough to break ribs, which apparently often happens during thumping?

He has a very weak heart. He has CHF, among other things. And he is much older than myself. He has no possibility of surviving a heart attack.

Maybe your SO wants to check out the "death was not unexpected" form. It doesn't have anything to do with DNRs or any treatment. It can only make things easier for you or his sons if the end comes at home.

ETA I also have a POA, which as Chevy pointed out, is something else altogether.

ETA The Health Care Directive and the DNR and the "death was not unexpected" document are all separate documents here too.
Thank you very much for this information. I have not heard of the "death was not unexpected" document. I appreciate you sharing information that you surely only gained through your own pain and sorrow.

They asked him about a DNR at Princess Margaret when they were getting ready to discharge him, and he told them that maybe he would sign one in a year or two, which made me have to smother a snicker at the looks on their faces. They had signed the document with which his son had presented them in order to apply for compassionate care leave at his job, and that document says that life expectancy is likely less than six months. We are now past that, and in fact, the son's benefits have expired.

He mentioned recently that he thinks he would be OK with signing the DNR now. He is also on palliative care because he has declined any treatment for his cancer. They did not actually give us any life expectancy, however, but Google says the average lifespan after diagnosis of paraneoplastic cerebellar syndrome is two and a half years. Truth is, we don't know. We know the type of cancer he has in his lung is not curable, we know that as of last September it was in three lymph nodes, two in the chest and one in the neck, but because he has refused all further scans and tests, we have no idea where it may have gone now, and until he feels pain or has other symptoms, we won't know. He did have a heart attack fifteen years ago and a stent was put in, so there is that, too.

Yes, I am aware that the POA has nothing to do with the healthcare directives. I just mentioned it because it was part of the package.

This is actually not directly my concern, since I am not legally a family member, but his sons are a bit lost in all this, and they rely on me to gather information and point them in the right direction. As I said to the younger one last night, "I hate always having to be the person who takes on responsibility for everything, but I'm good at it." He laughed, and so did I.

netwit, I wish you and your husband peace.
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Last edited by Mightyqueen801; 07-31-2022 at 12:34 PM..
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Old 07-31-2022, 10:28 AM
 
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These most recent posts are enlightening to say the least.

As one whose conversation with anyone about this issue of euthanasia, I tended to fixate on the mental acuity issue alone. I did not spend time considering those types of illnesses that left you debilitated, even bedridden.

Like many of you have expressed there are many joys in life that do not depend upon mobility to experience. Even the bedridden can find events that bring enjoyment.

A neighbour my wife and I worked with for many years just prior to his retiring was diagnosed with a stomach cancer that he had stubbornly refused to acknowledge until it had reached the death dealing stage.

A hospital type of bed was set up in the living room of his ranch style bungalow as their bedroom windows were all too high to see anything from lying in bed and they had a large picture window in the living room that allowed him to view the comings and goings along with birds, squirrels, rabbits etc..

We were more than casual acquaintances so made a point of maintaining our practice of occasionally dropping by and kibitzing while having a coffee with them. Watching him fail was only the second time in my life I witnessed a previously vigorous and active individual just fade before my eyes. My father with pancreatic cancer being the first.

He and his wife spent his last months having conversations they both enjoyed without measure or comparison with their normal day to days while he was healthy and working. We watched this unfold with something of a 'learning moment' in our own lives.

We have decided that any accessing to MAID would have to be based upon such a terrible pain inducing situations so as to create the condition of one needing such constant pain mitigation so as to be rendered virtually unconscious or a cognitive impairment whereby we can no longer recognize anyone or anything and are merely existing without any awareness at all.
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Old 07-31-2022, 10:35 AM
 
Location: OK
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I am from the Netherlands where my family still lives. My father died that way, about 25-30 years ago. He had incurable cancer and decided he didn't want to live like that. In the Netherlands there is a strict protocol that needs to be followed and there is even branch of the government where the final approval gets made.

I never understood why, when an animal is sick and in pain, the humane thing to do is euthanize it but people are supposed to suffer.
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Old 07-31-2022, 10:45 AM
 
Location: OK
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I believe that anybody who is "done" living should have the right to end it. A friend of mine's grandmother was at a point where she could barely get around, could no longer read and was basically vegetating. She did not want to continue that life and picked the date to be euthanized. Of course this was done under the care of physicians etc. The date was set for a few weeks which gave her daughters and grand children time to spend some quality time with her. It was a beautiful ending of her life.
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Old 07-31-2022, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Canada
6,728 posts, read 8,053,227 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post
Thank you very much for this information. I have not heard of the "death was not unexpected" document. I appreciate you sharing information that you surely only gained through your own pain and sorrow.

They asked him about a DNR at Princess Margaret when they were getting ready to discharge him, and he told them that maybe he would sign one in a year or two, which made me have to smother a snicker at the looks on their faces. They had signed the document with which his son had presented them in order to apply for compassionate care leave at his job, and that document says that life expectancy is likely less than six months. We are now past that, and in fact, the son's benefits have expired.

He mentioned recently that he thinks he would be OK with signing the DNR now. He is also on palliative care because he has declined any treatment for his cancer. They did not actually give us any life expectancy, however, but Google says the average lifespan after diagnosis of paraneoplastic cerebellar syndrome is two and a half years. Truth is, we don't know. We know the type of cancer he has in his lung is not curable, we know that as of last September it was in three lymph nodes, two in the chest and one in the neck, but because he has refused all further scans and tests, we have no idea where it may have gone now, and until he feels pain or has other symptoms, we won't know. He did have a heart attack fifteen years ago and a stent was put in, so there is that, too.

Yes, I am aware that the POA has nothing to do with the healthcare directives. I just mentioned it because it was part of the package.

This is actually not directly my concern, since I am not legally a family member, but his sons are a bit lost in all this, and they rely on me to gather information and point them in the right direction. As I said to the younger one last night, "I hate always having to be the person who takes on responsibility for everything, but I'm good at it." He laughed, and so did I.

netwit, I wish you and your husband peace.

I thought I had come to terms with his death but when, in one day, people are telling me about this form or that form, and asking me if I know which funeral home I would want, because the "death was not unexpected" form is also sent there in advance, as well as to the police, it felt very overwhelming on that day, like my brain had been rattled too hard in my head.

My husband's children live in BC and I keep them up-to-date but I worry that when he dies, some sort of crap will hit the fan, because death often brings out the worst in people. They and I are the same age, which tends to bring resentment from the daughter, though not the son. However, neither of them have offered up opinions as to his care when I have presented options to them, which is probably for the best, as I am here and they are not, and they don't seem to grasp the significance of all his health issues.

And my husband has many visitors, whether in hospital or out of hospital. I have an open door policy and have decided not to worry about whether the house is a mess but that's hard for me. I empathize with a neighbour, whose husband had a heart attack a few years back and who wanted to clean up a little in the house first, before calling 911

I'm someone who needs a little downtime from people and I haven't really been able to have that since March.

My very best thoughts to you and your SO.
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Old 07-31-2022, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Elsewhere
78,792 posts, read 72,819,344 times
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Originally Posted by netwit View Post
I thought I had come to terms with his death but when, in one day, people are telling me about this form or that form, and asking me if I know which funeral home I would want, because the "death was not unexpected" form is also sent there in advance, as well as to the police, it felt very overwhelming on that day, like my brain had been rattled too hard in my head.

My husband's children live in BC and I keep them up-to-date but I worry that when he dies, some sort of crap will hit the fan, because death often brings out the worst in people. They and I are the same age, which tends to bring resentment from the daughter, though not the son. However, neither of them have offered up opinions as to his care when I have presented options to them, which is probably for the best, as I am here and they are not, and they don't seem to grasp the significance of all his health issues.

And my husband has many visitors, whether in hospital or out of hospital. I have an open door policy and have decided not to worry about whether the house is a mess but that's hard for me. I empathize with a neighbour, whose husband had a heart attack a few years back and who wanted to clean up a little in the house first, before calling 911

I'm someone who needs a little downtime from people and I haven't really been able to have that since March.

My very best thoughts to you and your SO.
Thanks. I have the opposite where I don't have much contact with people at all. I walk every day because there is a large conservation area right across the street, and I find myself chatting with strangers by complimenting their dogs just to have conversations. I try to reign myself in so I'm not that weird annoying woman. Remember, I'm in a foreign country with no family or friends. His family is very nice to me, and occasionally his sisters will include me in an invite for coffee or lunch, which is nice, and one sister-in-law has shown up a couple of times to walk with me in the park. But I only met these people last year when he got sick because he had moved to the lake country, and although he loves his siblings, he kept himself separate from them.

As for the housekeeping, just no, at least not past a certain point to make it livable. The house I am in is a wreck, even though it is basically a very nice home in a great location. I had heard from other family when when we brought him down here that my S.O.'s sons were making this heroic effort to clean up the house they'd lived in alone since he'd moved up north in 2013, and when I got here I wondered what the hell it looked like before, lol. His wife died in 2008, and before that she was in the last stages of alcoholism, and you can tell it's been YEARS since, for example, anyone emptied or cleaned out the kitchen cabinets. I live out of a suitcase and a hamper, except for a couple of drawers they emptied for me, because the other drawers and the walk-in closet in the bedroom where I sleep are packed full of old clothes. I did do some cleaning in the kitchen to get rid of expired canned goods and clean the thick grease off the range hood, and I keep up with the dishes and the floor on the side of the kitchen that doesn't have the six-foot-tall cage where the parrot lives. Or sleeps, anyway. The parrot is out and running around the house during the day. They bought a new fridge before we got here, thank God.

The cat pretty much owns the living room, although the litter box and his food dish is in the basement.

I am really not complaining. The sons are very good to me, they are just not equipped. This is material for a future book.
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