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Mandatory End-of Life Instructions

Recent controversy over end-of-life decisions can be prevented by mandatory instructions.
  (+4, -2)
(+4, -2)
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No one likes to make out a "living will", and they seem to be really complicated. Thus, many people have no clear instructions if they are in a noncommunicating, persistent vegetative state, or a non-vegetative life-support situation. This puts loved ones in the agonizing position of having to decide when to pull the plug. Recent events have shown how far-reaching such decisions can be.

I think the government might be able to make end-of-life instructions easier to leave, if the process were simplified and mandatory. For instance, every U.S. adult receives forms from the IRS or SSA several times a year. One could be given a form that offers, say, five trim levels of end-of-life instructions, ranging from "Keep me alive until I liquefy" down to "Kill me tomorrow". If the form is not filled in and filed with the SSA, you are listed at level three by default (Keep me going until the total cost exceeds one million dollars, then let me go). There would also be an option for filing a customized Living Will, for those with means and time on their hands.

Most people would probably choose to go with the default option, which may change like other regulatory adjustments, but everyone would have some kind of clear instructions on file in a public record. You might receive a form every five years, asking you to confirm your choice, and giving you the opportunity to make adjustments. Of course, a change of option form can be filed at any time, and its provisions would be considered effective upon its receipt by the SSA.

DanYHKim, Jul 07 2005

An alternative approach Living_20Will_20Bingo
Shameless plug. [AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jul 08 2005]

Hey ... not so fast. Who_27s_20In_20Line_2c_20Anyway_3f
Shameless plug. [reensure, Jul 08 2005]


       I'm not too big on calls for mandatory anything as an invention. It might be a law but not an invention and so is a position of advocacy.
bristolz, Jul 08 2005

       I'll be dead, what do I care?
10clock, Jul 08 2005

       End of life decisions can be made to fit supply-demand curves! +=|   

       You can make something mandatory to any degree you want, but if family decides to scream and yell only a tight legal document will suffice. No one is going to carry out your intention if it is disputed as 'the best you could possibly imagine at the time' while your significant others feel opposed to your choice.
reensure, Jul 08 2005

       10clock, the point is that the person isn't dead. They're in a persistent vegetative state, or a non-vegetative state requiring life support, etc. They're alive, they just can't communicate their wishes.
david_scothern, Jul 08 2005

       Um Hum. You're at the end-of-life; contrast with deceased, dead, or in past-life.
reensure, Jul 08 2005

       Or un-dead. That would void the whole thing.
hidden truths, Jul 08 2005

       You won't be just laying there, not awake.
reensure, Jul 08 2005


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