Expected Death in the Home…EDITH

I know this is available in Canada and I wonder where else in the world.  I would love to know your thoughts and extra information if you have it and would like to share it with me.

This article is intended to briefly highlight the concept of“Expected Death in the Home” which is sometimes referred to as “EDITH”.  Plans can be made for supports to be in place to permit end of life care and wishes for those individuals who knowingly choose to die at home.  This is most often due to an incurable illness.

Usually a health care professional such as a nurse with Community Care Access Centre makes a suggestion and follows up with the forms to be filled out and signed, contacts the doctor and other appropriate services as needed.  Your health care professional or the local hospice organization may also be able to provide some information for you.

With EDITH protocol in place a plan is created which eliminates the need for police and other emergency services such as; fire department and coroner to be called because it is known the death is not suspicious.

This means an individual has made the decision to refuse treatment to sustain life and wants to die in their home without emergency decisions being made to extend their life. No resuscitation if their heart stops beating is to be done.

A “do not resuscitate” also known as a DNR order does not need a doctor’s signature.  An individual can state their wishes directly or a substitute decision maker can follow through on the individual’s wishes as stated in an advanced directive if the person becomes incapable of enforcing their decision.

The death pronouncement can be made by a doctor or qualified nurse as determined in the plan of care. The arrangements to remove the body and have a death certificate signed can be done without causing additional stress to the family.

This is not for everyone, but when you think about it, his does make life easier for all concerned when death is near and expected.

As I write this, I ponder if this were a decision I had to make as my life was near its end would I have the emotional strength to do so.  On one hand, I would have to be brutally honest with myself and acknowledge that I am dying.  Hmmm, just writing those words “I am dying” seems weird or foreign; even though in all reality I am not dying at the moment. (I know you can get technical her and say we are all slowly dying)

I can imagine how my family would be at ease knowing I made this choice and it is taken out of their hands, or would they?  Another idea is the fact that there are those who are in denial about death.  I am not going to go down that road right now with this article.

Would you choose EDITH protocol if you had the choice?