You've had a serious stroke. You are in intensive care, at the hospital.
You have tubes coming out of your yin yang, nose and mouth.
Air is being pumped into your lungs by a machine next to the bed.
You don't hear it. You don't see nothing.
You are brain dead.
You do have rights and choices when found in predicaments like this even though you are laying helplessly in bed slowly deteriorating and dying.
There is one right you don't have.
You should have the right to die but that is not the case here in Canada.
In Canada, it is legal to end your own life, since suicide was removed from the criminal code in 1972.
You have the right to be fully informed, by your doctor of all the treatment options available. It has a title, called "The Right of Informed Consent." This means your doctor has an obligation to you as his patient to inform you of all the risks and dangers.
You have the right to knowledge of the different therapies as well as all the benefits. The process of your treatment and the outcome possibilities, whether good or bad.
You can have a substitute decision maker speak for you, as if you were speaking for yourself and your advance care directives recognized. You have rights to access drugs and treatments even though they may bring on your death more quickly to ease pain and suffering. Or you can refuse or discontinue treatment altogether, you can refuse Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
You even have the right to refuse food and drink. Not a pretty sight and takes forever.
None of this will be of use to you if you haven't arranged before hand all your rights. What if you had no family, who would make the decisions for you.
Something to think about.
Some people are kept alive for years against their wishes.
Which brings me to my next blog. Assisted Suicide.
check out Dying with Dignity web site: