My Wishes is a booklet written in everyday language that helps children express how they want to be cared for in case they become seriously ill. Like Five Wishes, My Wishes also helps begin conversations among children, parents and caregivers. My Wishes is not a legal document.
What Health Care Providers Say about My Wishes:
“Recently I had the unfortunate occasion to put a copy of My Wishes to use. One night in the PCU the condition of one of our pediatric patients became acutely worse. His situation looked grim. As the night progressed, it became certain that he would require mechanical ventilation. A copy of My Wishes was available on the unit. I spoke with the parents outside of our patient’s room and then brought the booklet into the room. As a group, the patient, his parents and I worked through the issues. Having a chronic, potentially fatal illness, my patient had thought about many of the issues before and had strong opinions as to what he wanted. He had many questions regarding what would happen to him once he was intubated. He wanted to know if he could speak once intubated, how awake he would be, how he would urinate and who would clean him.
With the help of the My Wishes booklet, I was able to answer his questions and address his concerns. Prior to that night, he was not aware that they could become part of the medical record and be heeded by the medical team. Although my patient passed the following day, it was a comfort to his family and the staff involved that his wishes were followed in his last hours on this earth. My hope now is that more physicians, nurses and ancillary staff are made aware of the benefits of My Wishes and use them with their own chronic and critically ill patients.”
Amy L. Blais, Pediatric Hospitalist, Central DuPage Hospital, Chicago, IL