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Interview with Blaine Palmer

We recently spoke with Persis Oberreither, a Compassion and Choices member who has written of the important conversations about end-of-life choice she had with her daughter, Amy.

“I was sitting at the dining room table and I was looking over my living will, as it was called at the time. Amy asked what it was for, and I explained to her that having a living will allows you to keep control over your health care decisions if you ever can’t speak for yourself. Because of Amy’s experience with my mother’s long illness, she decided she wanted to have her own living will.

Just a few months later, Amy sustained a devastating head injury in a car accident. The night of her accident, the ICU nurse asked me if my daughter had a living will. When I said yes, her jaw dropped. She said she’d never heard of an eighteen-year-old who had a living will. During the weeks that followed, Amy’s condition took a turn for the worse. It became clear that she would not recover, and my husband and I had to make a decision.

Remembering the many conversations that Amy and I had had, I already knew what she wanted. If I had not known, having to make that kind of decision would have been too much for me to manage in a time of crisis.

Twenty-one days after the accident, Amy’s life support was removed.”

Interview with Blaine Palmer
Staff member
Compassion and Choices
Portland, Oregon

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