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Thinking about death amid coronavirus? A living will could help

When you think about the end of your life, do you worry about being alone or being a burden to the people you love? Does the idea of losing your mobility or being unable to communicate make you worry? Do you hate the idea of being kept alive by mechanical breathing machines when you have no likelihood of recovery?

And if you had a choice in your last few days, would you die in a hospital or a hospice or at home? Would your family be in the room? Would there be music playing? Photos all around you?

It isn’t easy to ponder the end of your life, says Constance MacIntosh, a health law professor at Dalhousie University, especially when you feel healthy and invincible or find yourself staring into the uncertainty of a global pandemic — even one like the new coronavirus, which has a relatively low mortality rate.

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But the fact that it isn’t easy to think about losing capacity or dying is the only real drawback to creating an advance directive, MacIntosh says.

“If you do it when you are healthy and not actually about to need to be making those decisions,

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