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Who Will Speak For You? | Barbara Taylor Vaughan

Holding hands
Photo credit: Julia Freeman-Woolpert

I visited a friend of mine today at the hospital…healthcare…damn, I hate the word.

He is 91 dying of cancer, but alert, and just as charming as ever. The doctor came in while we were there and told him of a surgery they were going to do, to make him better. My friend cried and said he wanted no surgery, he just wanted to go home and be comfortable. Missy told the doctor that we were not family and that family needed to be present to talk about this surgery. The doctor told Missy they had been notified and surgery was scheduled. Missy called his son and told him of his fathers wish. The son said surgery was scheduled for tomorrow.

Missy called a psychologist to come in and interview my friend, who called the man’s son. My friend is going home, no surgery, and his son came and hugged me, and apologized. He told Missy he was sorry. My friend winked at me, and squeezed Missy’s hand. He is happy to go home or to hospice to die. He is ready.

Healthcare…make sure you have someone to speak for you. Make sure you have a real person not just a piece of paper. We all have rights. We are home now and I am watching Missy sleep, she is exhausted. Her MS has been flaring up, and this visit to the hospital was supposed to be a short one.

I look at her and wonder who will speak for her…

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