So, this weekend my mom and dad both signed some official paperwork, which my dad handed to me with a 'read it carefully please'. The paperwork gives me and my brothers the power to make decisions for our parents with regard to finances but also medical stuff when they can't make those decisions themselves and the other parent also can't make them. They're not in trouble yet, but they are both in their fifties and realize that this could save both their partner and us kids a whole lot of trouble if something actually happened.
Basically, they've ensured that doctors can disclose their medical information to us, so we can make decisions about their treatment for them.
Now, my dad never talks about things like whether he wants to be an organ donor (even mom doesn't know), let alone that I can get information from him on whether he wants e.g. treatments that only extend his life but will never cure him, or what he still considers 'quality of life'.
Basically, I now have a document giving me and my brothers the power to make decisions. But the document doesn't give any guidance on the medical part (there are some wishes in the financial part of the document).
My brothers and I tried to get a conversation about it going this weekend, but although my mom answered some of our questions about her wishes, our dad remained quiet (not even a 'don't know' or 'never thought about it').
After a few minutes, he tried to shut down the conversation, without explanation. I gave it one last try, telling him something about my own viewpoints on unnecessary medical treatment (which are pretty extreme), and explaining that if I didn't know his point of view, I would go by my own compass and thus might make the wrong decision for him. He wasn't convinced and didn't show any reaction. There was nothing that encouraged us to believe he genuinely wants us to make the decisions for him without having his input, but also nothing that indicates that he needs time to think about it and will inform us when he has made up his mind.
We later tried getting some answers from my mom, but basically
- We don't know why he doesn't want to talk about it, only that he seems to loathe the subject.
- We all have no clue what his wishes are.
So, one way or another, we have to get that conversation going. Because I don't like having this responsibility but not knowing what he wants us to decide, and neither do my mom and brothers.
How do I make my dad realize that he has to think about this stuff and provide us with some guidelines? How do I get him to provide us with information on his last wishes?