May 3, 2020
Advance Directives in the Time of COVID
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new urgency to end of life planning, as far as Advance Directives go.
The arrival of COVID-19 reinforces the need for everyone to prepare a legally-recognised advance directive document and arrange the appointment of a legal representative (eg. guardian, proxy, agent, etc.).
An advance directive can outline the nature of one’s desired end of life care, (and a guardian can advocate on our behalf) should we become unable to communicate this for ourselves.
A deteriorating situation with a COVID pneumonia can quickly place you in the position of having to make a decision as to what level of medical intervention you want.
The existence of a legally-drafted advance directive and appointment of a legally-sanctioned person to represent you, could well protect you from a prolonged and undignified death in an ICU.
Such a document, and such an agent, can also ensure that scarce medical resources are freed up for those who more welcome them (and who may be more likely to benefit from them).
This makes the decision-making easier for the medical staff involved.