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Changes of Heart with Advance Directives

Judie Rappaport
September 22, 2015

Dear Judie,

Mom (84) created her Advance Directives 15 years ago with clear instructions: she wants to die at home, in bed, without heroic measures. Last year when she was diagnosed with cancer, she reminded me of her wishes, “Lisa, when the time comes, please let me go”. Yesterday she changed her mind: “I want to fight this. I’m not giving up”. The doctor said she’s coherent and she’s entitled to change her mind. Have you ever heard of this?                                

  • Denise, PSL



Dear Denise,

Mom’s change of heart is not unusual. Some research shows almost 50% of patients change their minds. Advance Directives ask us to forecast how we’ll feel in conditions we’ve never experienced. When we actually face dying, we often have a different perspective. Creating Advance Directives is the best way we have to help families/physicians make critical decisions for end-of-life care, but your situation demonstrates why it’s only the first step. It’s critical to review all important documents annually to make certain they adequately reflect current feelings. Please call Treasure Coast Hospice (772 403-4500) for guidance on managing Mom’s and your feelings during this difficult time.  



Judie Rappaport, President & Founder
Preferred Lifestyle Services

Trust Yourself. You Have the Knowledge, Insight,
and Power to make the right decisions for you and your parent. ©



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