A message from Jessie Walsh, Director of Hospice at Moab Regional Hospital:
The coronavirus pandemic is an unfortunate reality that many people in the world are already facing and that we must also prepare for. Looking around the world, we see death rates rising from complications caused by COVID-19 and the affect it is having on communities.
As I look at the way this pandemic is affecting communities all over the world and as the death rates continue to rise, I have been motivated to clarify and share my End-of-Life wishes with my loved ones.
If you contract this virus and are in the small but serious percentage that will require critical care (i.e. a mechanical ventilator), do you know what you would want? Do those who may be required to make healthcare decisions for you know what you want?
Though unlikely that you will face these difficult questions, please take the time now to reflect, clarify, and communicate your wishes to your designated healthcare decision-makers. Even better is to have your wishes in writing. Please consider filling out an Advance Care Directive that can be kept on file at the hospital. Whether this pandemic affects you directly or not, it's important to have your wishes in writing and your Advance Care Directive taken care of.
Already have medical care planning documents that you would like added to your medical file? They can be securely emailed to email@example.com.
If you have any questions about Advance Directives or how to begin having this conversation with your loved ones, please call me at 435-719-3772 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to speak with you.
Aware of this reality, doctors have even started addressing their own end of life wishes and sharing them publicly to encourage others to do the same. Dr. Rana Awdish, an ICU physician at Henry Ford Health System and author of In Shock, wrote on Twitter how she and her colleagues came up with and shared their plans if they were to get sick. They discussed their kids and their pets and their emergency contacts.