Ben Franklin’s wise and appropriate quote

by  Andrea Powell, HPCCR Electronic Communications Manager

ben franklinBen Franklin very famously said, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  Given the significance of today and tomorrow, I have to say that this quote has never been more appropriate.

First of all, Happy Tax Day!  What a wonderful way to start off your week, huh?  Isn’t preparing and filing taxes fun?  Well, for those of you getting a nice refund, the work was worth it.  For those of you writing hefty checks, take comfort in the fact that Christmas is still eight months away.  Plenty of time to start saving up!  And you don’t have to pay the government for another whole year.

But now we move on to the other part of Ben’s quote: the certainty of death.  Tomorrow, April 16, is National Healthcare Decisions Day.  It’s the day when you have to (well, you really should) think about end of life.  It’s a day nationwide when we ask ourselves some very important (and tough) questions:  Who would you want making important decisions about your healthcare if you couldn’t speak for yourself?  What decisions would you want that person to make?  Do those closest to you know how you feel about life-sustaining procedures? 

How did you do on those questions?  Not so well?  Ok, I’m going to ask you a few more.  Do you have a Living Will?  A Healthcare Power of Attorney?  Do you have any idea what a MOST form is?  If your answer to any of these questions is a resounding, “No!”, then you are not alone.  But that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Less than one-third of adults have completed these advance directive documents.  Which means that more than two-thirds of our population are leaving their loved ones unaware of their wishes should something unplanned and catastrophic happen to them.  That’s just not ok.  Advance directives give family and friends peace of mind in the event that the hypothetical becomes reality.  Making the hard decisions now will ultimately be a gift to those who love us.

This all might seem very overwhelming to you, but take comfort in the fact that there are organizations and individuals whose sole purpose is to help you fill out your advance directives.  And there are plenty of websites (including that not only answer your questions, but also provide contact information for people who would be happy to assist you in any way.

I know the last thing you want to do the day after you pay taxes is to think about your impending death.  But Ben Franklin was a wise, wise man.  You can’t avoid death just like you can’t avoid taxes (well, I suppose you can avoid taxes, but there is that pesky jail thing to think about).  Being prepared for both will take away some unnecessary stress and let you focus on the more important things in life.  Like the fact that Christmas is only eight months away.  You should be hearing carols in Walmart any day now.

Explore posts in the same categories: advance directives, advocacy, awareness, end of life, hospice, special events

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2 Comments on “Ben Franklin’s wise and appropriate quote”

  1. ABP Says:

    Love it!!!!

  2. Suzette Hays Says:

    National Healthcare Decisions Day is a perfect opportunity to complete your advance directives. What are those, you ask? Advance directives come in two forms: Living Will or Healthcare Power of Attorney. A Healthcare Power of Attorney selects the person you want to make your healthcare decisions if you cannot speak for yourself. A Living Will documents what kinds of medical treatments you would (or would not) want at the end of life. You can find these documents on our website , and you can find a lot more information about advance directives at .

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