(Host) The Vermont Ethics Network estimates that roughly 25 percent of all Vermonters have advanced directives in place, and it expects this number will grow significantly in the coming months. Producer Patti Daniels asked people in downtown Montpelier whether the Terri Schiavo case has them thinking about their own end of life care.
(Woman) “I already have an advanced directive and my husband is getting one. Talking to my children about it was little weird.”
(Man) “Yeaaaahhhh, that’s something that I should do.”
(Woman) “It’s the medical technology that makes it difficult and makes the pond murky. Yes you can be kept alive, but what is the quality of that life.”
(Man) “You can’t plan your checkout exactly as you want it. My mom died, she had an advanced directive, we used it. She passed into unconsciousness and I became her legal guardian and used it to take care of her.”
(Woman) “I think it’s very important no matter how old you are to have that in place should something untoward happen. It’s kind of like taking out insurance or paying your mortgage – it’s just one of those things you have to do.”
(Man) “My wife knows my wishes, so that’s not a problem.”
(Woman) “I’m 22 years old. It just doesn’t seem like an immediate – I have so many other things I’m doing, you know? If I were to take that on at this point? It’s just at the bottom of my list of priorities.”
(Man) “It’s got to be an individual, personal decision. It’s not something that somebody or this case can make for people – although it does give them a lot of room to think.”
(Question) “Have you signed an advanced directive?”
(Man) “I don’t know. I discussed it with my wife, we thought we had one but we don’t know because it’s lost someplace in the house. True! True story.”
(Host) Some comments on end of life care from people in downtown Montpelier.