Medical Power of Attorney

Since I’m having surgery soon, when my doctor offered a chance to have help filling out a medical power of attorney, I jumped on it.

It sounds really intimidating, but it wasn’t bad at all.

I think the entire appointment took half an hour, and a lot of that is because I already knew what I wanted, I’d remembered to bring my organ donor registration paperwork, and I’d remembered to bring my brain donor registration paperwork.

Yes, I’m donating my brain to science, after I’m dead of course. Rapid cycling bipolar 1 is unusual, so when I put in a query to see if they wanted my brain, I got a ‘YES! OF COURSE!’ response.

So we filled out the paperwork, and I put my sister-in-law as my medical power of attorney rather than my husband.

Which sounds shocking, but there’s two mitigating factors. 1. My organ donor registry trumps medical decisions made by my power of attorney – as in the doctor decides when I’m ‘dead’ and they can harvest organs. 2. My sister-in-law is a nurse and has a better idea of what is medically possible than anyone else in my life.

My grandmother had to decide to take the love of her life off life support and let him die, and it RUINED her mental health until the day she died. She became an alcoholic and grieved him ever day she lived past him.

I don’t want my husband to make that decision.

Hence actually filing to join the organ donor registry – so that he can’t make the decision because it lies in a doctor’s hands.

It sounds very fatalistic, doesn’t it?

But it’s nice to have it formally done because then I know that my decisions will stand. I made a note that if they put me on tube feeding to pay for the nicer food because I don’t want to wake up after having wasted away to skin and bones. And I included that I wanted a pastor from our church, not because I’ll be awake to care about it, but because that will be comforting for people I love.

All in all, a half hour of work, and now I’m filing it with all of the local hospitals. Very little effort for peace of mind, so if you’re at all concerned, I’d suggest reaching out to see if your clinic offers a service like this!

Header image generated by Midjourney AI.