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 "A New Look at Living Wills" (WSJ, 6/8/12) 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post "A New Look at Living Wills" (WSJ, 6/8/12)
There's a good article in today's Wall Street Journal on living wills. Here are key excerpts:

"An estimated 25% to 30% of Americans have filled out living wills, documents that spell out wishes for medical treatment. But ethicists say the typically simplistic documents aren't the solution many hoped they would be. Life-prolonging medical technology has far outstripped doctors' ability to predict outcomes. The hardest choices center on when quality of life will be so diminished that death is preferable. As such, some health organizations are trying to improve living wills, allowing for more flexibility and nuance. Some ethicists, meanwhile, are de-emphasizing living wills altogether and focusing on appointing a trusted family member or friend as your health-care agent. ... The problem with living wills is that most people can't articulate what they want... And even if they can, family members often don't properly interpret those wishes."

I think this reinforces the idea that we need to choose carefully a family member or friend who will be our health-care agent, and we need to have a lengthy discussion with that person in advance about what "quality of life" means to us.

The article mentions two sources of living will documents:
* Five Wishes: fivewishes.org; $5; can be completed online
* Lifecare Directives: lifecaredirectives.com/products.html#ead; cost is $8

Another resource mentioned in the article is the American Bar Association's "Consumer's Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning," described as a tool for getting the conversation started. The tool kit is available at no charge online:
http://www.americanbar.org/groups/law_a ... nning.html

Robin



http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 06562.html

Wall Street Journal
June 8, 2012, 9:26 a.m. ET
STAYING FIT
A New Look at Living Wills
These critical documents about your preferences for end-of-life care don't always work as planned. More flexibility might be the answer.
By Laura Johannes


Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:28 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: "A New Look at Living Wills" (WSJ, 6/8/12)
I have the 'Five Wishes' filled out and signed; gave copies to both daughters and they know where to find the original. It's certainly a thorough document!

The 'green form' that doctors use now [and also nursing homes] is also very comprehensive.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:26 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: "A New Look at Living Wills" (WSJ, 6/8/12)
Hope you had a conversation with your daughters along with giving them the Five Wishes document.


Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:06 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: "A New Look at Living Wills" (WSJ, 6/8/12)
Oh, yes. We've had good discussions about my end-of-life wishes and they are on board.

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:53 pm
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