with compromised immune systems and other ‘underlying conditions’ such as lung disease, hypertension and associated cardiac conditions to name a few.
In the first few months of 2020, Exit experienced a marked increase in readers subscribing to this book out of concern for their own vulnerability to COVID. The virus has us all worried. There are already media reports of COVID causing the greatest financial recession in history. As of May 2020, more than half the population on the planet are in lock-down in their homes, one of the few ways that the medical experts know to be effective in halting the spread of the virus.
Given the seriousness of the pandemic, important questions arise in regard to end of life planning, especially given the average age of readers of this book (75 years). The importance of having an up-to-date advance directive document and having appointed an agent or proxy in the time of COVID was brought home in a March 2020 opinion article by Toronto intensive care doctor, Gordon Rubenfeld in the Canadian newspaper, The Globe and Mail (see: https://bit.ly/rubenfeld).
In trying to stress the importance of an advance directive, Rubenfeld wrote:
If you do not talk with them about this now, you may have to have a much more difficult conversation with me later.
His point was the importance of letting your friends and family know the type of care that you would want if you found yourself in ICU with the COVID virus. But he was not only talking about the various end of life care wishes of individual patients here as that, as he said, was all part of a ‘typical week’ for him.