Dr Lee Wei Ling, director of the National Neuroscience Institute, told The Straits Times why she was among the first to sign the Advance Medical Directive, "When I say I will carry on until I cannot carry on any more, I have no intention of lingering." According to her, dad also signed an AMD years ago, but said not to tell her mom. Although some doctors took pains to stress that the AMD is not the same as euthanasia whereby one omits treatment or gives treatment with the intention to kill off a patient, the practical reality of cost to sustain life is obviously in the equation when the Government is not prepared to pick up the bill. Not everybody in Singapore can afford round the clock nursing to care for someone diagnosed as terminally ill.
But what the fish is the Office of the Public Guardian trying to achieve with the "Lasting Power of Attorney"? The Mental Capacity Act, which took effect in March last year, allows people to appoint a third party to make decisions for them "if and when they become unable to make decisions for themselves". The OPG is tasked to protect vulnerable people who have lost their ability to take care of themselves as a result of intellectual disability or problems associated with illness and old age, such as dementia. Apparently 1 in 12 Singaporeans aged 65 and above is likely to develop dementia by 2020 - which sets you wondering what is the mental state of an 88 year old. With this piece of paper, authority and responsibility is passed to the nominated caregiver. Which means Ah Kong can be kicked to a dump in Batam, Bintang or Johore even if the old geezer wants spend his last days, and last penny, at a resort style nursing home in the Bahamas, or marry Anna Nicole Smith like the elderly oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall did at age 89. But if grandpa has zilch in his CPF, do you think his kin will want to be legally committed? It's probably another variant of the Maintenance of Parents Act, which provides for Singapore residents aged 60 years old and above, who are unable to subsist on their own, to claim maintenance from their children instead of the State. If you are looking for Guaranteed Income Supplement for seniors like the Old Age Security (OAS) program, you'll have to move to Canada.
Acting Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Chan Chun Sing decided to lead by example by appointing his wife to take charge of his welfare should he turn cuckoo prematurely. Maybe he is in a better position to recognise his own mental state. Which kind of explains his televised antics at the Tanjong Pagar nomination center in May.
|I sign off here, and I'm set for life, right?|