A PROPOSED ADDITION TO YOUR ADVANCE DIRECTIVE
By Bishop Rene Henry Gracida
Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi
Do you have an Advance Directive which describes the medical care that you would want to receive in the event of your terminal illness?
Most Advance Directive printed forms supplied by medical institutions would permit declaring you “brain dead” thereby legally allowing doctors to remove your vital organs while you are still alive.
To prevent that terrible possibility you might want to consider incorporating the following definition of death in your own Advance Directive.
A LEXICON OF WORDS AND PHRASES TO BE USED BY THE MEDICAL AND LEGAL PROFESSIONS IN DEFINING AND DISCUSSING DEATH
DEATH is the total permanent loss of circulation of blood leading to the cessation of vital functions dependent on such circulation such as pulsation, respiration, brain activity leading in turn to the destruction of these vital systems and organs necessary for the preservation of human life. Death is not an instantaneous phenomenon, it is a process.
PROCESS means the successive occurrence in time of the physiological changes named above in parts of the human body.
CHANGES described above causing death can be measured in nano-seconds, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks or longer.