Thursday, November 19, 2009

Five Wishes brought to Life

Gail Rae from the mom and me journals dot net has applied the Five Wishes to her mother's recent passing, wondering how each question relates to the discussions she had with her mother before her death. It's a beautiful post and a great embodiment of just how the Five Wishes framework can work.  


Jerry said...

Hi, Jessica. Thanks for dropping by my blog, and also for this post. I've added you to my blogroll. See you 'round the innertoobz. J

Carla said...


Thanks for continuing your good work bringing attention to end-of-life care issues, especially advance directives.

Compassion & Choices has previously cautioned folks to carefully read the Five Wishes directive to be certain it doesn't actually subvert their end-of-life choices:

Five Wishes incorporates the religious creed that while it is permissible to take action you know will cause death, it is never permissible to intend death. It's a subtle concept, but central to certain theology related to the end of life. It carries the name "doctrine of double effect."

Those of us trained in the law usually assume responsibility covers things we know will result from our actions, in addition to what we intend. "I didn't intend to break the window" is no defense if I knew the window was closed and chose to throw a baseball to my friend outside anyway.

The double effect dogma can trip you up if you don't see it coming. Wish Number 2, "My Wish For the Kind of Medical Treatment I Want Or Don't Want," includes the general instruction "I do not want anything done or omitted by my doctors or nurses with the intention of taking my life"

At C&C, we recommend that folks consider using their state-approved advance directive. We can get one to you free-of-charge by filling out the form here.

Carla Axtman
Online Community Builder
Compassion & Choices

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