Our Death DenyingCulture
The well-known bioethicist George Annas once referred to America as having a “death-denying culture that cannot accept death as anything but defeat…”
This “death-denying culture” might be one of the reasons that, for so many, discussions about end-of-life planning are not only difficult, but “best to be ignored”. Advanced directives really mean that we are facing the future and accepting that we are not immortal…but we knew that.
However we ignore these discussions and planning at our own peril. We, as a nation, are uncomfortable talking about death/end of life. In our society – Medical science overcomes diseases and new technology gives hope to the previously hopeless. One might almost look at such advances as “the death defying culture.”
But balance this with the expressed desire of many people, that – if given the choice- they choose to die with dignity; in reasonable comfort without pain; in control of their decisions and on their own terms. It is not so much a decision of “when” as the decision of “how”.
And advanced medical directives can help with the thought processes. Most often in advance directives we can give direction of what we do not want to happen, rather than trying to anticipate what might happen.
Advanced Directives are only one part of an estate plan. Estate Planning in some ways addresses the “What Ifs..” of life . It also protects those you love and who love you from the heartache of indecision and confusion and often guilt. I have been told that just the process of developing an estate plan has given people a better sense of their own direction; both personal and financial, as well as peace of mind.
Like anything worth having/doing, the process of estate planning is not simple, but it need not be difficult or stressful. The end result- documents that protect your future; and define your wishes.
Working to Preserve Your Wealth and Protect Your Future…in a Constantly Changing World
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