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Sometimes our culture’s technical ability to prolong life may exceed our individual ability to make hard choices under difficult circumstances.
Although our culture traditionally treats this as an awkward or uncomfortable topic, the best time to make wise choices about what we want our last days to look like is before circumstances call for those choices to be known and honored.
We cannot overstate the importance of clear advance directives and “POLST” forms (“Physician’s Orders For Life-Sustaining Treatment”) with explicit directions about our individual wishes. For a poignant example of this, see this New York Times article titled “What Broke My Father’s Heart”.