Recently, in my Health Communications class, we were given the assignment to create our own health care directive. I had no idea what this was, so I certainly had never given it any thought before it was brought up in my Health Comm course. Despite the fact that the assignment was a bit morbid, it was a very beneficial experience to have as it really encouraged me to thoughtfully put together what I would want should my life take a turn for the worst.
So Many Details
When I first began to think about the assignment, I only thought about a couple of things. I thought about being on life support and organ donation. I did not realize how much more a health care directive entailed. Yes, life support and organ donation are critical factors, but they are only two in a number of many. For instance I had to designate two individuals to advocate on my behalf should I not be capable of doing so myself, I had to state what I would want done to my body should I pass away. The most challenging and powerful parts of this assignment were when it asked me to state the reasons my life is meaningful and worth living and at what point would it no longer be worth it, and when it asked about my family and loved ones and how they should bring me comfort at that time. Instantly I thought what about THEIR comfort. At this point I was pretty choked up, but that was the intent of the assignment, to sincerely make us think deeply about the weight of a situation where a health care directive would come into play.
As I stated previously, I had never given any thought to creating a health care directive before this assignment. However, after I completed it, I wanted everyone in my family to create one, too. Having a health care directive is so important. Not only does it set a plan in place should a tragic event occur, it also encourages you to ponder some heavy questions that are very necessary to consider. I provided a link below that answers some questions about what all a health care directive entails, and it also has a link at the end for you to create your own. Even if you do not sign and notarize it (which I did not because I still want to do some further research), it is still beneficial to explore this topic for both yourself and the loved ones in your life.