It is a wonderful service for the patient and those close to the patient when the patient’s wishes are put in writing. It allows loved ones to know what the patient’s choices are and gives them permission to take action on the patient’s behalf if he or she is unable to do so.
Now is the time to discuss and execute an advanced directive, a living will, a power of attorney, or a DNR order. What kind of care is to be administered or withheld? Does the family know the patient’s wishes, and do they understand and agree? This is a way to avoid a lot of confusion later on when the dying person advances to the more serious last stages of illness.