Monthly Archives: July 2016

Your Spouse as Healthcare Agent? 

Your Spouse as Healthcare Agent?   Perhaps NOT!

 Our GUEST BLOGGER, M. Jane Markley’s specialty in Advance Care directives makes her a highly sought speaker and trainer. Please register for the FREE webinar with Kim Adams, July 21st. 

Jane said: “In my June 2015 newsletter, I spoke about CHOOSING your Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, also known as a Healthcare Agent.  I emphasized the importance of addressing three criteria when making this decision.  As a refresher, here they are.  The person you choose should:

  • Be ready, willing, and able to take on the role
  • Have had a conversation with you and understand your wishes
  • Be able to abide by your wishes and be your advocate when needed. 

What are the Pro’s and Con’s of having a spouse be your healthcare agent?  Over 40 years ago, my mother chose me, not my father, to be her healthcare agent.  He fully met the first two criteria, but she felt that he wouldn’t be able to meet the third, because of the type of care she would want when “the crisis” occurred.  She believed I would best be able to advocate for her.  Then she told everyone in the family her wishes. Spouses frequently struggle with the choices their loved ones make. If they can’t support those decisions, or advocate for them, they’re not the right person to assume this role.  Whomever you choose to be your healthcare agent, speak with them to make sure they meet all three.”

These are the nuances of advance care planning that not everyone considers. Do you have other questions about this type of planning?  Want to learn more in a safe environment?  Join us Thursday, 21 July at 7:00 pm EST, when I’ll be speaking about advance care planning, and taking questions from the audience on Kim Adams’ Monthly Dialogues for Living and Dying Well.  Please register at:

I hope that you will be able to join us for this
FREE program. Have ‘The Conversation’ and Give ‘The Gift’

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PART TWO Building your own Quality vs Quantity charts

         QUALITY of Life

PRO arguments

Patient stays in control. Can you hear Frank Sinatra singing, “I Did It My Way”?

Shared Decision Making with your medical team and your family

Patient prepares written documentation, EXIT STRATEGY instructions, for family to carry out their End of Life [EOL] wishes

Patient insists on EOL conversations with medical team

Patient writes their Bucket List

Patient researches his/her disease(s) to anticipate next stages/next steps

Patient develops Legacy Plan for family and community

Learn “A-N-D” – Allow Natural Death

Learn meaning of Palliative Care

Research benefits of early enrollment in Hospice, to enhance the quality of final days. Surviving family members receive bereavement services for first year.

Chooses spiritual resources: Rabbi, Pastor, Iman

Research and visit:

CON arguments:   I can’t think of any, can you?


PRO arguments

Perhaps you want to live long enough to experience a major event? A graduation? A birth? A wedding?

Help me out here–I personally can’t imagine trying to stay alive longer. If you have some input, please send me your comments.

CON arguments

This list could get very long. I personally evaluate through the lens of how much PAIN would I have to endure? How much will it COST? 

Many doctors avoid the agonizing treatments or surgeries that they put their patients through. Do an internet search on Futile Medical Treatment. My Google search yielded 576,000 results.

A few years ago I read this article by Dr. Ken Murray:

Now, tell me what you think!