In My Own Words :: Video Advance Directive

A video advance directive in which you clarify your health care preferences will provide comfort, strength and support to your loved ones.

Even though the traditional written directives address basic medical issues such as life support, organ donation, and heroic measures, it is often the psychological issues that are more important to patients and their family.

Adult children worry about making life and death decisions for their elderly parents.

"I have loved my mother all of my life and we have been very close, but when I saw her in the hospital looking frail and vulnerable and unable to speak for herself, I realized that I would have to speak for her. Although she had a written directive and she had told me several times that she didn't want any heroic measures, I don't think I would have been able to make medical decisions for her on my own. Her video advance directive made all the difference. To see her expressing in her own words what she wanted to have happen allowed me and her doctors to implement her decision to die peacefully and naturally."
Robert H, age 47, San Francisco, CA

Parents not wanting to burden their children or spouse, welcome the ability to describe in detail the care that they will want.

"I knew that my children would have difficulty letting me go, so I welcomed the opportunity to spell it out in a video. I was able to tell my children that I loved them but if there wasn't any hope for my recovery I wanted to die peacefully. If I was going to be in a hospital or extended care facility I wanted to be kept warm and comfortable with lotion on my body and roses by my bed. I wanted to have classical music in my room and someone of my faith to speak to me. I was able
to put all of these wishes on my video and this put my heart at ease. "
Mary W, age 83, Napa, CA

Single adults would rather advocate for themselves than ask friends or extended family to implement their decisions.

"As soon as I heard about this service I knew that it would allow me to tell my physicians and my sisters what I would want if I couldn't speak for myself. There are times in life when no one can say it as clearly as you can. I asked to have my pet visit me and sleep over if possible. I asked to have people tell me words of encouragement and stories of beauty and grace. I asked to have my acupuncturist, chiropractor and massage therapist give me treatments even if it seemed like I was unconscious. I wanted my friends to visit and to remind me in a soothing and loving way of all of my good deeds and intentions. I am so appreciative of this video service that allowed me to record the most intimate details of my personal preferences for my care."
Sarah Jane L, Oakland, CA

Dr. Melinda Ginne grew up in Los Angeles in the 1950's. In 1972, she earned a BA degree in Sociology at California State University at San Diego (CSUSD). She moved to the Bay Area in 1973 where she started a 10 year study of body-based therapy and clinical psychology. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology in 1993. She has been a Behavioral Medicine Specialist since 1980 and a Gero-Psychologist (Geriatric Specialist) since 1990.

Dr. Melinda Ginne