No one likes to think about their own mortality, especially while feeling vibrant and alive. The "It could never happen to me attitude," dominates our thoughts, and while it is true that most of the time it won’t happen to you sometimes it does, and the people left to suffer through painful decisions are friends and family. Imagine, for example, that you are 35 years old, in relatively good health, good job, engaged but not married, but that you are one day involved in an auto accident and leaves you incapacitated. Your are rushed to the hospital, where your mother, father and fiance agonize over what to do. Your mother wants keep fighting even though you have limited if any chance and you are feeling some high levels of pain, but your fiance, whom you have discussed this scenario with wants to let you go. These kinds of things, while horrible do happen.
However, there is an easy way to resolve this type of problem: awarding durable power of attorney over health care to a trusted individual. This works much like a typical durable power of attorney and gives a trusted person the ability to make decisions about life and death when the other party is unable to do so. In addition you can assign more than one person this power so as to relieve the alone on an island effect this could have over a person. The most appealing aspect is that it allows the victim to have a say in his own life and death decisions. Guidelines can and should be given to the individual who will be given power of attorney over healthcare. This will alleviate much of the pressure on that person, and allow you a peace of mind to know that whatever happens you are in control over what happens in your life.
While, no one certainly enjoys thinking about these things, there is nothing wrong with having a plan in place that ensures you remain the key decision maker in your own life.