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It Takes Courage To Talk About Death

Most of time we use the word “courage” to describe a someone’s willingness to confront danger or intimidation. Often, we reserve the term for acts of extraordinary heroism.

But we all know that courage isn’t just needed in special circumstances. Sometimes, addressing the simplest things takes the most courage.

Like talking about death, for example.

Death is perhaps the most baffling aspect of human life. So far as we know, we humans are the only species that understands that we will die. And we learn this at a surprisingly early age. This makes “time” a uniquely human concern.

In addition, death is the only human experience we can be certain we will share with every other person who has ever lived. And, conjecture about future scientific breakthroughs aside, every other person who ever will.

Despite this universality, we seem to take it for granted that others don’t want to talk about death. Death is at the center of lots of superstitions. It’s almost as if we believe (more…)

Florida GOP Debate Reminds Us, Advance Directives: Not Just For The Elderly

The important topic of advance medical directives came up during Monday night’s Republican presidential debate in Florida. The issue arose when Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times brought up Senator Rick Santorum’s 2005 involvement in the Terri Schiavo case. Schiavo, you might recall, spent seven years on life-support in a persistent vegetative state after suffering severe brain damage caused by lack of oxygen following a full cardiac arrest at age 35. Ultimately, a seven year legal  battle between Schiavo’s husband and parents over her husband’s request to discontinue all life-sustaining activities led to a ruling that Schiavo’s feeding tube should be disconnected.

Although Sen. Santorum fought vigorously on Shiavo’s parents’ side during the proceedings (her parents were Pennsylvania residents, hence constituents, at the time) on Monday, he, Rep. Newt Gingrich and Rep. Ron Paul all strongly supported every adult’s legal and moral right to determine her/his advance medical directives.

What the debate once again highlighted was the need for every adult to complete a legally valid, universally accessible advance directive, like the Universal Advance Digital Directive™ (uADD™) available through MyDirectives.com.

Having a medical emergency is the last thing on a young person’s mind. We all (especially young people) naturally think of death as a vague distant future event.

But, as the Terri Schiavo situation tragically showed, and Monday’s debate starkly reminded us, an unforeseen accident or emergency could happen to any of us at any time.

Age aside, make sure you, your friends and loved ones have an advance directive. It could save your families the added burden of struggling to make heart wrenching decisions at a time when you cannot speak for yourselves.

The advance directives portion of Monday’s debate is in the first few minutes of this video.