Analysis Of Writing A Living Will Reflecting Faith And Quality Of Life

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Writing a Living Will Reflecting Faith and Quality of Life
Death is one thing in life that is certain. We are born, we live, and ultimately we experience death. Writing a living will (LW) that reflects your faith values, and what you believe quality of life to be, is a necessary, yet challenging, task. A LW empowers the individual and family to have a voice during critical times and prevent unwanted end of life care (Morhaim, Pollack, 2013). Writing a LW encourages one to answer these questions; 1) what do I believe God says about life, 2) what does quality of life mean to me, and 3) how do I want to live (Miller, 2014).
A LW is one part of advanced care planning. In addition to a LW, individuals may want to write a Durable Power of Attorney
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This author chose to interview a few older adults to gain an initial understanding of individual reflections about QOL. Mrs. F. was an 85 year old woman who had previously been treated for breast cancer and colon cancer and now had the diagnosis of liver cancer. This author knew Mrs. F. during her first two diagnoses of cancer and now her third cancer diagnosis. Discussions focused upon Mrs. F.’s understanding of QOL. Mrs. F. identified relationships and the ability to interact with her God, friends, family and neighbors as the number one QOL. With each illness, she experienced some setbacks, but she was able to re-engage in meaningful relationships. She also mentioned being able to care for herself was significant to QOL. With her diagnosis of liver cancer, Mrs. F. faced the decision whether to have chemotherapy. The physician was clear that the chemotherapy would not cure her cancer, but the chemotherapy would prolong her life, although no one could predict how long it would extend her life. Mrs. F. had an epiphany one day shortly after her second chemotherapy treatment and subsequently decided to discontinue her chemotherapy. Mrs. F. said, “It is not QOL to spend three to five days after each treatment, with the inability to join [my] neighbors around the dinner table enjoying good food and conversation, just to have a few more months.” Mrs. F. received hospice care and had what she perceived to be both QOL and death without

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