73-Year Old Marion Ford was happy to show us some of the paperwork she had drawn up earlier this month.
Contained in these documents, an advanced directive. It will tell her family what she wants done at the end of her life...when and if she can't speak for herself.
Its down, Its written, its legal, and its binding.
Marion says the Terri Schiavo case didn't have her question how she wanted her end of life to be...rather it signaled to her it was time to fill out advanced directives, wills and cremation forms. And that apparently is what happened to a lot of people here in Northern Nevada.
Craig Klugman Ph.D from UNR'S Health Care Ethics Department says the Shiavo case stuck out for a reason" It was so political, congress got involved, and the governor got involved, and all these people were being involved in a conversation that had been in the purview of the family previously."
Klugman says this last year alone roughly four thousand Advanced Directive forms have been handed out from the Nevada Center for Ethics and Policy...Here at the Senior Law Project about 16-hundred packets have been distributed. That doesn't begin to include other agencies or even forms that can be obtained on the internet.
Klugman says over the year the issue has polarized groups and strengthened both sides...which may mean these forms will become even more crucial over the years..consider some states are looking at legislation that would continue life support indefinitely unless you specifically have in writing you don't want that kind of care.
Its important to remember the forms let everyone know what your final wishes are, if it means you want to stay on life support to a time or indefinitely, your directions will be followed.