There are only three things sure in life: death, taxes, and change. Of the three, the first one is the hardest and the most frightening. Until now, nobody knows what happens after death. The good thing is death itself can be a peaceful, graceful process for both the patient and the loved one.
End-of-life laws and policies can vary among states. If you’re caring for a terminally ill patient and living in Indiana, here are three things you need to know:
1. There’s no death with dignity law
In death with dignity, sick patients have the option to end their life on their terms through a prescription medication provided by their doctor. Legislation for such a sensitive idea is complex, which explains why many states, including Indiana, do not adopt it yet. It is now legal in Washington, Vermont, Oregon, Colorado, and California while it is acceptable in Montana through a Supreme Court ruling.
2. People with HIV may have the chance to donate
Many years ago, an act prevented hospitals from harvesting organs coming from deceased patients with HIV. The policy changed when then-President Barack Obama signed HIV Organ Policy Equity (HOPE) Act. One of the provisions is extensive research on the outcomes of transplanting these organs to HIV-positive recipients. Indiana University Health is one of the health care facilities taking part by running a deceased kidney donor program. Only Johns Hopkins, however, is allowed to perform the transplant.
3. Hospice care is easy
Hospice care services in Indiana are accessible and family-centred. A reputable facility includes different professionals such as doctors and nurses who provide 24/7 care and attention, as well as counseling services to families and caregivers.
Unless science surprises us with a way to be immortal, death is inevitable for our loved ones and us. What we can guarantee is giving them the quality of life they deserve.