Dear Annie: I'm so glad you brought up the end-of-life plan dilemma faced by "Aunt Thelma, Uncle John and Marie." I am a doctor, and my patients have universally embraced my own end-of-life plan as follows:

"If you can fix me, please do. If you can't fix me, please help me avoid pain, fear, lack of air, hunger, nausea, thirst, loss of dignity and prolonging the dying process. I understand it might take a few days to figure out whether you can fix me or not."
This format helps facilitate conversation between generations without the feeling of abandonment. Most of us old folks don't fear death as much as the process of dying or prolonged disability. — John R. Dykers Jr., M.D.