Age Doesn't Matter: Prepare Others to Make Medical Decision For You

If a freak incident leaves you medically incapacitated, are your loved ones prepared to make medical decisions in line with your wishes? If not, it's time to take action. It never hurts to be prepared.

If a freak accident or sudden illness were to leave you medically incapacitated, would your loved ones be prepared to make decisions that line up with your personal wishes? Chances are, if you're over 60, you've made at least preliminary plans should such an incident arise. But what about young people? How many of them are prepared to have someone act on their behalf?


As Dr. Janice B. Schwartz writes in the SF Gate, not enough folks under 40 have seriously considered what would happen if they were involved in a serious medical emergency. She recounts the story of a 22-year-old niece who went from perfectly healthy young athlete one day to laying on a surgeon's table the next. She had suddenly lost her vision amidst a painful headache. Tests found a mass in her brain. Family members were unprepared.

"She had never considered not being healthy, what she would want if she had a condition or illness from which she was unlikely to recover, or if she was unable to speak for herself, or if her body was not able to function without the support of machines."

According to Schwartz, 3 out of 4 people will be unable to make some or all of their own medical decisions near the end of their lives. That's an astounding statistic and all the more reason to plan ahead. Schwartz recommends an online resource called Prepare to get things started. The materials provided will help you determine what your values are regarding end-of-life treatment, choose a designated decision maker with varying levels of responsibility, and learn to talk about this delicate subject with your doctor and loved ones.

The universe is built upon randomness. There's no guarantee that you'll be on your feet tomorrow. A car accident could subdue you. An aneurysm could put you in a coma. A sudden illness could leave you depending on a machine to survive. Of course, these scenarios aren't at all likely and you may very well live to be a healthy and happy 120 years old.

But it never, ever hurts to be prepared.

Read more at SF Gate

Photo credit: Peshkova / Shutterstock

European wind farms could meet global energy demand, researchers now say

A new study estimated the untapped potential of wind energy across Europe.

Pixabay
Surprising Science
  • A new report calculated how much electricity Europe could generate if it built onshore wind farms on all of its exploitable land.
  • The results indicated that European onshore wind farms could supply the whole world with electricity from now until 2050.
  • Wind farms come with a few complications, but the researchers noted that their study was meant to highlight the untapped potential of the renewable energy source in Europe.
Keep reading Show less

First solar roadway in France turned out to be a 'total disaster'

French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.

Image source: Charly Triballeau / AFP / Getty Images
Technology & Innovation
  • The French government initially invested in a rural solar roadway in 2016.
  • French newspapers report that the trial hasn't lived up to expectations.
  • Solar panel "paved" roadways are proving to be inefficient and too expensive.
Keep reading Show less

New vaccine (for cats) nixes allergic reactions for humans

You want one. Now you may be able to survive one.


Photo credit: Jie Zhao
/ Getty contributor
Technology & Innovation
  • Cats live in a quarter of Western households.
  • Allergies to them are common and can be dangerous.
  • A new approach targets the primary trouble-causing allergen.
Keep reading Show less