William The Coroner’s Forensic Files

Tuesday, 2, February, 2010


Filed under: Circle Game,Forensics,Medical — williamthecoroner @ 23:43

I’m having my papers updated.  Will, durable power of attorney, durable power of attorney for health care, the lot.  One of the things I learned early as a forensic person is death comes when you least expect it.  “Because I could not stop for death, he  kindly stopped for me…” and all that.  There you are, minding your own business, crossing Euclid Avenue and my goodness, where did that semi come from?

The will was easy, it’s the durable power of attorneys that made me pause.  And I chose a lot of simple options.  I could, for example, have made the cats beneficiaries, or set up a pet trust, or something.  The simplest was to mention them to my executor, and tell him to make sure they’re housed and fed.  He’s a cat guy, that’s not a worry.

But the durable power of attorney for health care, that’s kind of a poser.  I have spoken to mine, and he knows my values, and my take on medical futility.  I trust him to carry out my wishes.  This story in the NYT was apropos.  The daughter carried out her father’s wishes.  He made them known at the time of admission.  The key quote is here:

I suppose my father’s decision was a mistake. But it was his mistake to make, not mine. My role was to support my father, no matter what, and to tell the truth, no matter how hard.

It’s not easy sometimes.

By the way, if anyone can put me in touch with an Ohio  attorney that is experienced in creating a firearms trust that’ll keep ATF happy, drop me a line in the comments.



  1. was actually thinking about this topic as I was driving today. mmm … really should do more than just think about it, i guess.

    Comment by julie — Wednesday, 3, February, 2010 @ 10:12 | Reply

  2. Let me echo the “you never know when” and “having your wishes known” messages. We’ve had a horrible week, but it would have been worse if we hadn’t had clear instructions about what my family member wanted at the end, and under what conditions he believed medical intervention to cease being appropriate.

    Comment by LF Velez — Thursday, 4, February, 2010 @ 09:34 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the Emily reference — now I’m singing “Because I Could Not Stop For Death” to the tune of “Yellow Rose of Texas”.


    Comment by Heather — Tuesday, 9, February, 2010 @ 15:52 | Reply

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