You may soon come face to face with your own mortality, every time you get behind the wheel of your car.
The Texas Medical Association, at its annual conference in San Antonio, is considering asking the Texas Department of Public Safety to provide information on so called 'advance directives' to motorists when they register or renew their driver's license, and place an 'icon' on the front of every license designating whether or not the cardholder has an 'advance directive.'
An 'advance directive' is a legal document which states what steps you want physicians to take to save your life if you are left incapacitated by a potentially life threatening illness or injury,.
"The more we can do to get people thinking about what they want done with themselves, just for simple dignity, and for stewardship of our resources, that is very important to have that done," said Dr. Steve Brotherton, the incoming President of the TMA.
He says having knowledge of an advance directive and a way for emergency room physicians to access it, would be incredibly worthwhile when a patient is brought in close to death from a car wreck.
"It's not just a simple, don't resuscitate me, do resuscitate me," Brotherton said. "There is a lot more to that question that needs to be done."
Other issues the TMA House of Delegates is considering at its annual conference include...whether to advocate that people cannot buy sugar-sweetened beverages with Food Stamp benefits, whether to urge the University Interscholastic League to strengthen concussion surveillance, and extending it to cheerleaders as well as athletes.
Doctors are also looking at supporting legislation to allow physicians to place 'mental health holds' on patients they deem to be a danger to themselves and others.