Legal cartoons and humorous comment (c) Paul Brennan. All rights reserved.

I decided on 101 reasons as I didn’t want to depress the entire legal profession by having 1,001.
Paul Brennan, Lawyer, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

Friday, April 25, 2014

Give me liberty from completing an Advance Health Directive or give me death


An Advance Health Directive (“AHD”) sets out your wishes in the event that you are incapacitated, for instance, “Do Not Resuscitate”. The admirable self-sacrifice of issuing instructions to spare your relatives the expense and anguish of prolonging your life after you have reached your “Sell by Date” is ruined for some by the length, detail, and turgid nature of the AHD form which runs to 24 pages.

Whereas Mafia victims are given every assurance before being unexpectedly garotted in the passenger seat of their car, the AHD requires you to choose the method of your demise, be it lack of oxygen, starvation or thirst, or an “OST combo”. Many find it difficult to tick the box which provides that they are to be denied food and yearn for an option of “SAVE FOR the occasional light snack”.



The AHD form includes sections which allow you to:
  • expound on your spiritual and religious views as if your relatives had not heard enough already.
  • list people who should not be consulted on your condition. For instance, an evil twin, ex-wife, or mother in law.
  •  choose someone to agonise over these decisions for you although it is difficult to find someone who can do it as well as yourself.
As a safeguard, there are dire warnings to doctors and nurses not to depart from good medical practice e.g. by accelerating or assisting death especially in the case of less agreeable patients or at the insistence of pushy relatives.

Finally, the AHD form is to be taken to your doctor who is required to witness your signature and answer your many questions. Be careful to keep the AHD form out of sight while in the doctor’s waiting room to avoid being lynched by the other patients. An unintended form of euthanasia.