Although mesothelioma is a lethal illness, medical innovations has provided some remarkable improvements in survival time, the prognosis for victims of this asbestos-related disease remains, on average, within two years of having been diagnosed.
In the face of this reality, there are many steps you need to take to make sure that your affairs are in order and your family is well prepared, and one of these is the creation of an advanced directive.
An advanced directive is a legal document that can ease uncertainty for a mesothelioma patient’s family and caregivers. It is a legal document that provides specific answers as to the type of medical care that you want administered if and when you are unable to speak for yourself. It also appoints a person to be your official spokesperson and decision maker to ensure that your preferences are carried out.
Though discussing the eventuality of making a life-changing medical decision can be difficult, most mesothelioma patients have said that once they’ve taken the first steps to do so, it was easier than they anticipated, and offered a tremendous sense of relief at knowing that their wishes would be honored. There are different types of legal documents to be considered, including:
- Living Will – Addresses whether or not you want certain types of medical actions taken in case you can’t speak for yourself. These include intubation, tube feeding, the use of ventilators and resuscitation in case your heart or breathing stops.
- Medical Power of Attorney – Assigns the person to make decisions about your medical care when you are not able to do so for yourself. Also known as a health care proxy.
A mesothelioma diagnosis doesn’t mean that you are powerless. In addition to putting an Advanced Directive in place, there are other steps that you can take to give you back a sense of confidence about your family’s future.
For information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.