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Woman with life threatening illness switches power of attorney behind husband's back. AITA?

Woman with life threatening illness switches power of attorney behind husband's back. AITA?


When this woman who may die goes behind her husband's back, she asks Reddit:

"AITA for secretly switching power of attorney behind husband's back?"

I am on the path to a heart transplant. I am getting evaluated to see if I am a candidate, so I might not get one. Regardless my health sucks. I decided that either way, I am going to make a living will with a power of attorney for healthcare. I have only told my sister about the POA, and I know she would put me first and carry out my wishes.

My husband would do whatever paints him in the best light. Whether he wants to be the grieving husband or the hero depends on what part he wants to play, and say it’s what I want. I don’t trust he would do what I want, even if it’s in the will or something not covered in the will.

I also have to deal with my best friend of nearly 40 years (we have been bffs since we were kids, so she is more like family). I don’t trust that she won't put her wishes and emotions first.

She told me that she wants to be in charge of deciding my healthcare if I am not able to. She told me she won’t allow me to sign a DNR. I have no idea if I want that. I need to do more research, but ultimately, it’s my decision. She did the same thing to her mom, and we fought about it for weeks.

My sister would do what I wish, even if it is not what she wants. We are super close, and she is protective of me. She won’t put up with my husband’s and bff’s BS. I talked to her about being my POA and keeping it a secret.

She agreed. I warned her there would be drama if I needed someone else to speak for me. She doesn’t care about that and wants me to keep it a secret so I don’t have to deal with it. She is not afraid of putting people in their place when needed.

I don’t know what my wishes are. In a couple of weeks, I will attend a workshop on advanced directives at my local hospital. In the meantime, I will do research. When I figure out what I want, I will set them all down and discuss my living will and wishes. I am just not going to tell them about the POA.

I do feel bad for not telling them. I feel like I should put my big girl pants on and tell them, but tbh, I am so exhausted and don’t have the energy (physically and mentally) for a fight and all of the drama; otherwise, it would be a nonissue because I am not afraid to tell them.

My sister, however, does and is happy to deal with it in my place. I feel bad for putting it all on her. Idk, AITA?

Let's see what readers thought.

joianna writes:

Girl, keep it a secret. I did exactly what you did for very similar reasons, and when my husband found out, he flipped, and I've not yet heard the end of it. Let's hope you never have to use it, but if you do, you will be medicated or in a coma so you won't have to listen to his whining. Thank goodness you and I each have a strong sister! NTA!

gerbil7 writes:

YTA. If you want to make major life decisions behind your husband's back, you are asking for drama. If you don't trust him, tell him you don't. He is the one paying insurance and the hospital bills.

If you go into a coma, he will be the one paying for your care, while your sister gets to be the hero who saved your life. What if she uses your POA to pay the hospital bills while you are in a coma, and empties out the family savings?

No skin off her nose. She doesn't have to consider if your husband and kids end up on the street and bankrupt. She is hopefully, just making sure you have a chance.

This is such a terrible decision on so many levels, because it could so easily be solved with a discussion with your husband and the hospital. Make your own decisions, and don't set everything up for an explosive family fight.

stacyb7 writes:

NTA. This is a very personal choice. Just because you are married doesn’t mean that person has to be your POA. You’ve explained why you chose your sister and those reasons make perfect sense to me.

Aside from that point, your husband not being someone you can trust must add more stress to your ongoing illness stress. I have a chronic disease and it’s a lot to manage. I can’t image trying to do all that and worrying if my husband would pull the plug out of convenience too.

I’m sorry you are having to face your health situation while worrying about these things. Do not for one second allow anyone to make you feel guilty about this decision.

This is your life and your potential end of life we’re talking about. You get to control how you live and who will be in charge when/if you can’t be in control anymore. Sending good wishes for things to go right for you medically. Take care of yourself.

alicweirdoland writes:

NTA for your choice. Your husband’s behavior is concerning but I understand that right now probably isn’t a good time for you to make major life upheavals while you are going through these health upheavals.

Your BFF is more complicated. I think that she might be domineering from the way you described her, but I also understand that this might be a one-off of her behavior, if she’s just reacting to the emotions of the situation (it doesn’t mean she’s right, it just means I can understand this perspective). Regardless, this is about you and your needs, not either of them.

As for keeping it a secret, I think you need to talk to your sister and make sure she’s aware of that and what you expect the others’ reactions will be, so she’s prepared. You should also make sure your doctors have a copy of your POA and are aware that your sister will be the one making these decisions, because if they don’t have one on-file they’ll default to your husband, most likely.

It might help to write letters to your husband and BFF, saying the things you’d want to say if you told them now? That way they’ll be able to understand your reasons without putting you in the middle of an active fight.

Looks like the jury's out. What do YOU think?

Sources: Reddit
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