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Wants, Wishes, and Wills: A Medical and Legal Guide to Protecting Yourself and Your Family in Sickness and in Health by M.D. Shawn D. Glisson, Esq. Wynne A. Whitman

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Chapter 8. Medical-Legal Wishes: Defining Capacity, Consciousness, and Contingencies

When we told people we were writing a book that included end-of-life issues, we, not surprisingly, received similar responses: “Isn’t that morbid?” “Why would anyone want to read about that?” or “Could you pick a happier topic?” Our answer is always the same—of course, disease and death aren’t a barrel of laughs, but the ability to have some say in the matter of preserving your health and maintaining control at your passing is so critical that we couldn’t imagine not writing this book.

You shouldn’t take decisions about the end of life lightly. End-of-life decisions require you to evaluate the many different circumstances you may be in at that time. The reasons ...

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