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In difficult times, we may turn to the rigid rules of the government. It is then that we realize that things are not so simple. When we age, if we are incapacitated without a designated next of kin, we could become a Ward of the State. That should be on every adult’s list of horrors.
Being a Ward of the State means that it takes a judge’s order to define certain life states and procedures. You are not your own person because you have no people to fight for you. Anyone with any sense should fear this future.
Our responsibility is to care for those who cannot care for themselves. This is part of what community and larger healthcare is meant to do. It is supposed to leave life to the living and provide for those who cannot for themselves. We look to this, sadly, and continue to provide to them through Medicare, MediCal (Medicaid for you non-Californians), and Social Security or Disability. We provide and we provide judgment on what is considered reasonable care.
We judge because there are people who will not judge for themselves.
It is not only our right as Americans, but our duty to determine our own healthcare. We are called to determine our fates and to determine it for ourselves. Aging populations need to realize this. In order to mitigate costs and responsibility, the federal government should do everything within its power to unite families and to impress upon them the necessity of filial duty.
I fear the day that I will be so ill that someone will need to make my decisions, however, I have comfort in my daughter. Beyond, that, however, I know that no one will really care what I want. For them, it is a matter of wants vs. needs vs. costs. Life is not a simple calculation.
I want to live. I want to see my daughter’s graduation. I want to see my grandbabies. I want to move forward. When the government decides what I cannot have is the day that I start dying.
Do not let the government make your decisions. Designate your advocate. Write an Advance Directive. Write a Living Will. Learn about it! Learning about death frees you in life!