I put a euthanasia clause in my will.

So yesterday I went to my lawyer to draw up my will. Not that I plan on dying anytime soon but I am a firm believer in making things as easy as possible for those you leave behind.

The lawyer asked me if I wanted a living will and I told her I did. I don’t want any heroic efforts made to hook me up to a machine and force my body to respond if the more obvious choice would be to let me die. I am not afraid to die. I only am saddened to think about those I will leave behind.

Then she asked me if I wanted an Organ Donation clause included and I told her that I did. Since I got my driver’s license I’ve indicated I want to be an organ donor so having it all legal in my will sounded like a good idea.

Then she asked me if I wanted a euthanasia clause. I had no idea what this was so I asked her to see the specific wording so I could see what it said.

Basically, it says if euthanasia is legal in the state where I reside that I or my spouse will have the choice to either do it myself or say that we want to be let go if we are terminally ill.

I thought it over and decided that while it is not legal in Alabama and probably won’t be anytime soon that I would indeed like to have that option if it came right down to it. I probably wouldn’t do it but I would like the choice there.

I made the mistake of mentioning this to my mother last night and she is horrified. She cannot believe I would agree to such a thing and strongly urged me to reconsider before I sign the final paperwork.

Why do you think someone would be so opposed? I explained to her that I doubted it would matter anyway because it more than likely won’t be legal in my state. (I did not tell her that within this clause there is specific wording that says if it is illegal in my state that I can be transported to a state where it is legal if I or my spouse so choose).

Thoughts?

None of my friends would ever do that because upon hearing even a sniffle from them I tend to yell “He’s suffering! Quick put him out of his misery!” Then I run through the house trying to scoop up all the good stuff he owns before his relatives come over.

I wonder why no one ever calls me?

I can’t see where it’s any of your mother’s business, honestly, if it’s what you and your spouse want.

When I die, I want a low rider Hearse with huge speakers blacking ANother One Bites the Dust by Queen.

:smiley:

IANAAL (I am not an Alabama lawyer) but I can’t see the point of having a euthanasia clause in a living will. The clause itself in any document seems pointless, since currently Oregon is the only state which allows doctor-assisted suicide in any manner, and no Alabama judge is going to allow for the transport of a person across state lines for the purpose of performing an act which is violative of the law and public policy of the state. I would think either a “living will” or a medical power of attorney (in Wisconsin one should have one or the other, but not both as they conflict) with specifics spelled out as to withholding medical treatment, nutrition and hydration under certain circumstances, along with a do-not-resucitate clause in the document and on the hospital chart would be the way to go. Including a clause which is so clearly legally suspect may have ramifications for the document as a whole, and I for one want your death to be swift.

Wait, that didn’t sound quite right, did it…

Aside from what Otto rightfully questions, I see no problem with this and agree with ENugent that it’s none of your mother’s damn business.

In all honesty, if I’m withering away and suffering wracking pain from cancer and am only going to last a month or so longer, I’d much rather make my peace and set all my things in order legally than just throw myself off a bridge and hope my body is carried out to sea so the law can’t find and incarcerate my corpse for committing suicide. Some laws are just Goddam stupid.

Wow…I thought we were past that, Otto :smiley:

I have no idea…I questioned the clause and the lawyer said that even though Alabama doesn’t support it that in the event they do before I croak that I would have my wishes on file.

It was a throw in clause that cost me nothing extra so I figured what the heck. Plus, it’s something else I can drive my mother nuts with. :wink:

It was really strange sitting there talking about my death. Kinda creepy. I had to think about who I would want in charge of my children’s trust fund, who I would want named as their guardian, who I would want to get what worldly possessions of mine, etc.

Strange.

My dad says he wants balloons tied to each end of his coffin with clowns walking around making balloon animals and a big old keg underneath him for all to enjoy. (which is amusing since my dad rarely drinks) :smiley:

I think they way to skirt this, perhaps, is a directive to physicians.

This is a deeply personal issue and it really isn’t your mother’s call IMHO. I’m thinking I’d like to just have the opportunity to put this kind of clause in my will - although am not sure it’s even possible here. None of us really know what we might do in the situation but as you say - it’d be nice to have the choice.

Well, with any luck, Aries, your mother will predecease you (hopefully not for many years) so she won’t have any say over your final days.

The talk show host I listen to says he wants to die at age 90, shot to death by a jealous husband.

I say why not. Who knows, by the time the decision needs to be made, medical ethics may have caught up with what’s in your will.

Well, Aries and Sauron might move to Oregon, or Alabama might recognize a patient’s right to a quiet, painless, dignified death. If that happened, she’d have to go and change her will, wouldn’t she? It’s a “just in case” clause.

Personally, I’ve never understood why euthanasia is considered a mercy or a blessing in the case of non-human animals and an atrocity in the case of human animals. It’s kind of depressing, really, to think that my dog has a legal right to be spared the pain and debilitation of terminal illnesses and I don’t.

I question this being in the will only because wills are normally read after the person dies. I have always been told that anything having to do with my wishes concerning medical treatment or my burial (i.e. no heroic measures, or that I wish to be cremated) should be in a separate document and that a family member or close friend be made aware of the document and is able to access it if necessary.

CCL

My only concern with it’s being in there is the potential “muddying of the waters” effect on the rest of the document. With her mother being hostile to the idea, it doesn’t make sense to me to include an unenforceable provision in the document as possible ammunition against the remainder of it.

FYI, the Supreme Court has already recognized to an extent a “right to die.” There is a big legal difference between allowing someone to die through inaction and a physician or another person taking affirmative steps to end a life.

Kalissa

It’s not in the will. It’s in the living will.

I mis-read it the first time as well. “Living will” is generally an informal term. As j.c. noted the more formal name is usually “directive to physicians.” BTW, copies of the directive should be placed in your chart with your primary care provider along with having one filed with the hospital where you’re likely to be taken in an emergency. You should also keep a copy in your car and with your attorney, and one in your home where it’s accessible to someone coming in. If you name someone as an alternate decision-maker, give them a copy. Make sure those who need to know where it is know where it is.

And, congratulations Aries28 on getting this taken care of and I hope Sauron has done/is doing the same. Everyone, even with minimal assets, should have a basic will if you care what happens to your things after you die, and everyone should have either a directive to physicians or a medical power of attorney.

Yes, Otto I made him do this too. We have talked about it for quite some time but I just finished taking my Life and Health class for a designation I am working towards with my job and it settled it for us that it needed to be done right away.

Plus, given our interesting family dynamic of my son, his kids and our son I wanted everyone to get their share and no one to be left out.

I doubt my mother would step in and try to not honor my wishes…it just upset her I suppose. She is crazy like that sometimes. :slight_smile:

This, too, has left me flabbergasted over the years. Pets are more treasured than a human to be treated more humanely at the end.

But there are many legal loopholes to be worked out before Assisted Suicide is ever passed ( It won’t be for at least 100-150 years, trust me.)

People are very, very odd when it comes to death. To face our own mortality scares the majority of people out there. Most people I know avoid funerals and do not talk of death. Whilst me and my little family love to discuss funerals, death and other morbid subjects. ( The inlaws, to this day, are still uncomfortable around this discuss and there I sit, merrily talking about having my dead carcass trebuchet’d. I’m not sure where I want it trebuchet’d, but it’s a fun thought.)

It is extremely difficult for a human to deal with the loss of a parent, but it is natural to bury your parents in your life time. To bury your child in your life time is something that no parent wants to even think of, lest it happens.

Having pre-done funeral plans/arrangements also is a wonderful thing so as after you are gone, your survivors are not put into more shock at the cost of burying you.