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Putting them into a will is pointless because a will isn't read until after death. Mostly, to the best of my knowledge, family is relied upon to relay the desires of the patient if they are unable to do so.

Here, medical directives accompanied with an appointment of an attorney-in-fact are recognized. The directive spells out wishes in the case of severe medical circumstances and appoints another (generally a family member, but can be anyone) to speak with the same force and effect as the person who signed it. This means no one has to take anyone's word for anything. Here is what I want, and if it needs interpretation, I trust this person to answer the same as me. Do what they say.

That JWs don't want procedures involving blood is not a secret, though family would be required to inform a provider of this if the patient could not. So, let's suppose your wife was JW and she was in an auto accident. You go the hospital, they want you to sign the approval forms for surgery (that will involve blood or blood plasma) you tell them knowing she could die without the blood products?

Okay, real life scenario. My dad was run over by a van and was a mess. He clearly articulated his wishes, and appointed me as his attorney-in-fact.

Mom blinked and was willing to accept dad in any condition. I knew dad wasn't. Took a little bit of talking and a lot of "I have to do what he wanted, and like it or not, that's why he asked me and not you" and we went with the high risk surgery.

was just responding to the idea that medical directives remove a lot of stress from family. They can, but in my scenario I think they would add more. After all, if the blood is used there is an excellent chance for a full recovery (and restoration of quality of life).

You're addressing people who are not fully engaged. I don't live in that world. Obviously the law would have to address both. But speaking from this side of the fence, I don't need nor want anyone else involved beyond those I trust to act on my behalf. I wouldn't marry someone who didn't accept me just as I come, and who I didn't accept just as they come. And when the time comes, if I outlive my wife which no man ever does, I'll have to respect her wishes, and not let doctors stick her full of needles, which she hates, unless I know she'll come out the other side fine.

It's not just about religious beliefs, it's about understanding someone else and being able to wear their shoes when the brown stuff hits the fan, and having the faith in another person to wear yours.

I recognize many people either have no one to depend on at that level, or avoid the ugly discussion of death. I would hope that the law, in trying to provide for them, doesn't get involved with me and mine.
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