If you suddenly realized that person next to you at Quaker Meeting appeared to have died, what would you do? Would you know if a sudden, painless death after a long, fruitful life would be their wish? Or would they wish to be resuscitated quickly, before brain damage couldset in? What forms of resuscitation can be that fast and effective?
Community Friends Meeting will soon have an Automated External Defibrillator, as well as the overdose reversal agent Narcan, immediately available in the kitchen over the dishwasher, withthe first aid supplies. Both these lifesaving items have been shown to be safe and effective, even in the hands of bystanders with no training whatsoever.
On September 15, everyone wishes to, please bring a copy of their Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney--or even a piece of paper with your wishes in writing and the date. I will have some blanks for anyone who would wish to fill them out there. This applies whether you wish "everything done" or "let me go". I personally know from Ken's death that a sudden, partly expected, pain-free transition has its advantages. Hint: it was helpful in Ken's case to have a "four minute do-not-resuscitate" wish in writing. In other words, put in writing that if resuscitation is unsuccessful after four minutes, it should be stopped and death declared. This can make it somewhat easier for bystanders to follow the highly natural wish to "do something", while lowering the risk of long term harm.