Must have a Plan

Planning Ahead

A discussion of topical issues for anyone concerned with the final phase of life by Muriel R. Gillick, MD 



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April 16 – It was officially the day Americans were made-up to remember to complete an advance directive.

Nobody put much consideration to National Healthcare Decision Day since it came just after the anniversary of Boston Marathon bombing or possibly Americans were overburdened by holiday work.

A new study published this month in the journal of the American Geriatrics Society the main focus was – how many people have an advance directive and how has this changed over the past 10 years? But this study has some major limitations-

  • Only includes people who died and relies on the testimony of relative or friend.
  • It was restricted to people over age 60.

Author of current study conclude that having an advance directive is correlated to one’s wishes for end-of-life care are followed. It was based on the report which states that the person who died had actually wanted. Also National Healthcare Decisions Day was ignored by media because it was surpassed by the other more exciting events or  because it continues to pay attention on a form, on finalizing a legal document, rather than on addressing head on what is most important to us in the last year or two or five of life, on the decisions that will matter most in life’s last stage, however long that lasts.

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