July 27, 2001
Letter to the Editor
In light of the recent death of Mr. Robert Wendland and his right to live or die -- please learn the lesson and document your wishes in regard to medical treatment. As a health-care professional, I deal with people daily who have not documented any type of directives in regards to medical care.
Education is needed to reach everyone -- if you leave your family to make decisions, this could happen to you. Please contact your health-care provider for more information on advanced directives and which form best meets your needs. Always discuss your directives with your primary-care physician and/or surgeon prior to treatment and ensure they are documented correctly. It is beneficial to open the lines of communication within your family and discuss life-and-death decisions prior to the time of illness or injury. Be specific on what type of medical procedures you want or don't want.
May Mr. Wendland's dignity and quality of life serve as an important lesson to us all -- may he rest in peace.