A few years after I quit JW meetings my Mum needed her Medical Directive signed and witnessed and she asked if I'd do it. I was surprised to say the least! I think she was just angling to include me and maybe find some lever to get me involved again. I told her that even though I didn't agree with the policy I'd respect her wishes because I knew how important it was to her. I wasn't calling her bluff, I meant it.

She thought it over for a few days but went with my Elder brother in law instead, I wasn't as upset as you might think. Fast forward a dozen or so years and now I'm not sure I could back that policy at all. If my signature was required to authorise a blood transfusion for my 72 year old JW Mother I'd sign. She'd live to resent me, even to shun me, but she'd live. What else could I do?

Really, it’s a simple question with no simple answers;

In the case of a patient who lacks the consciousness or cognition to authorise or deny treatment for themselves, who’s choice is it when difficult decisions need to be made?

Let’s consider a few scenarios.

Author: michael
More from this author