Assuringyourwishes.org is a service provided by United Hospice, Inc. (UH). Since 1988, UH has provided care, hope, comfort and improved quality of life to individuals and their families facing serious illness.
It was only natural that our experiences would lead us to develop Assuringyourwishes.org. Far too often we have seen people bear witness to watching their loved one follow a downhill path. More often they never talked, and then it was too late. We have seen time and time again, how family stood around the bedside either not knowing the questions to ask or with blank looks on their faces when confronted with each new question posed by health care professionals regarding the choices that needed to be made.
Based upon our experience, we believe that we can offer some advice.
First, review all the informational material on advance directives that we have provided for you on this site. Fill out the forms that we have provided. Send copies of your directives to us so that they can be stored in our secure database and retrieved by you, your health care agent (the person you pick to make health care decisions if you are unable to do so) and your health care providers.
Second, recognize that there is no possible way to provide your health care agent with all of the answers to questions that they might one day be asked. It is impossible to anticipate the new treatments and technologies that might be available in the future. What you can do is talk to them about what quality of life means to you. Do you believe that the purpose of medical technology is to serve as a bridge to recovery and that you want it stopped if it is determined that it is unlikely that you will recover or return to a level of functioning with which you will be satisfied? Do you want all interventions attempted regardless of what the outcome will be?
Third, in addition to speaking with your health care agent, share your wishes with anyone else that is likely to be involved when decisions are made about you. To avoid conflict later, talk now. You will be giving your loved ones a gift-the knowledge of what your wishes are and the comfort that they are doing the right thing (whatever that may be).
By following the three steps listed above, you will be doing all that you can to assure that your wishes are honored. We hope that you find this service of value.