There continues to be lots of work to do. There is a bill approaching the NH Senate to simplify advanced directives in NH. Currently, as hopefully everyone knows from doing their own advanced directive, in NH you have to spell out your wishes on "life sustaining treatment" and "nutrition and hydration" separately. It's confusing and most people get the forms goofed up and fill them out exactly the opposite of what they really want. The bill which I think is in committee (I'm not 100% clear on how the NH legislature works--I've only lived here eight years and neither of my kids has taught me their civics lessons) would lump fluid and nutrition in with life sustaining treatment and have people just answer the question once, hopefully in a format where it makes sense. Currently, it allows you to say No, thanks to "life sustaining treatments," but to continue medically administered nutrition and hydration. There is a whole lot of verbiage before it that is tough to understand and people get tangled up in it and say that they want artificial fluids and nutrition when usually they don't. At least that has been my experience. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I don't think a single patient has filled the form out correctly to say what they mean it to without my assistance. Anyway, you can write to your state senator and encourage them to support the bill. You can use this to figure out who they might be. There was a public hearing earlier this week, but I am sure they would still welcome emails or letters.
I think I mentioned that one of my patients was assaulted and that I may be testifying. I met the (? one of the?) county's prosecutor today; I think so she could make sure I was semi-articulate and wouldn't say something bizarre. We met at the Hospice House and she very graciously accepted a tour. We dissected my four paragraph long clinic note and then she headed out. The next step if things continue will be a deposition where the defense attorney asks me lots of questions and there is either a stenographer or a recording device and I'm under oath and everything. It's being pretty interesting so far. This is my first experience with criminal court (knock on wood!) so it's all new and has the sheen of CSI to me.
I am hoping for good travelling for tomorrow for us all. And, maybe a tiny wish for an early spring?