Meaningless directions

If you have occasion to compose or think about your living will (and I hope you will soon), please do not include the phrase "heroic measures," which means nothing at all - or, rather, many different things to different people. One person's heroism is another's medical routine. If you would rather not be resuscitated (i.e. have your chest forcibly compressed and undergo electric shock), then say so. If you would rather not have a tube down your throat to aid in breathing, say that. If you would rather people not do "too much," decide what that means to you, and write that down - and tell the person you would like to make health care decisions for you if you cannot. Don't count on people understanding what you write unless you are painfully detailed and inescapably clear.

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