Tonight my Dad is in the rehabilitation center following knee surgery. From what I gather this is a little like giving birth; it is awful for mother and child but both are really happy a few weeks later.
Upon admission, transferring from the hospital and full of pain medications, a vast array of paper was placed in front of him requesting his signature. Some was about insurance, some about care, and some could end his life.
These little sheets of paper included a health care directive to physicians that gave the facility permission to end his life had he checked a box that said so. Four days after surgery and still in considerable pain, I question his competence to make a reasoned decision. The directive is green in color; green for “go”.
Because my mother was there she stopped the process until I could arrive. Upon my arrival the nurse explained again to my parents, and me, the purpose behind the health care directive was “so the doctor would not have to read through all the legalese of a more complex document” . That is literally what she said during her remarkably practiced speech for all incoming patients.
In other words the Doctor has no time to understand the intent of the patient about whether he lives or dies as expressed when contemplating these issues in a competent, sober manner while consulting with his lawyer who then drafted the same based on the law and his experience.
Just check the box on the little sheet of paper sir, it is better for all of us. That’s right, the green one. Green for “go”.