Tag Archives: tattoos

Trend Alert: Medical Directive Tattoos?

The nature of our work means that we understand why people would go to great lengths to ensure their end of life wishes are known to loved ones.

In fact, that’s the reason why we’re around — to get more people to think about this stuff and make their decisions clear.

But we have to admit when we heard about people getting tattoos to convey medical wishes or conditions — even we were little surprised.

KYPost.com reports on a recent study:

The first time Jimbo Carriero died, it lasted only a few minutes.

“I didn’t see the white lights everyone talks about, but I sure got an overwhelming feeling of total bliss,” Carriero said of complications following a stent procedure after a heart attack in September 2008. “It was beautiful, just a beautiful feeling, like all my bills had been paid.”

So the next time, he wants to stay there.

The 52-year-old owner of Body Branding Tattoo Emporium in Naples had “Do Not Resuscitate” tattooed on his chest a year later.

He is among a growing number of people who want a more permanent medical alert. The Canadian Medical Association Journal reported in May that medical tattooing appears to be increasing, partly because the often-pricey medical alert bracelets can be lost or broken, some people prefer tattoos, and others can’t wear jewelry at work. The journal detailed tattoos for diabetes, blood types and end-of-life wishes.

It’s quite an interesting approach! But as the article points out, first responders aren’t accustomed to looking for medical tattoos for clues about how to handle a patient. It’s also less painful to update a medical alert bracelet than it is to update a tattoo with a change of opinion or a new medical condition.

Some might read this and think it’s a great idea. We’ll leave the debate about the pros and cons up to you. But while we do love that it creates discussion about such an important topic, we think the best idea is to create an advance medical directive to ensure the details about your medical condition and end-of-life wishes aren’t missed.

Photo: July 12, 2012 — Spencer Cootware has blood blotted from his arm while receiving a tattoo about his aorta from artist Shane Williams. (SHNS photo by Corey Perrine / Naples Daily News) (RS)

Crossposted on MyDirectives.com