Friday, April 3, 2009

Pain but no Gain

Patients who never talked about their end-of-life wishes were more likely to be resuscitated, intubated or put in intensive care — or all of the above. Patients who had had those conversations generally opted for comfort, or palliative, care at home or in a hospice at much lower cost. Aggressive, expensive care was found to inflict more suffering, but not extend life. According to this item in the NY Times called "At the End of Life, Denial Comes at a Price."

Talk to your loved one's about end-of-life issues before illness occurs. See an estate planning attorney and get a health care power of attorney that allows someone you trust to make medical decisions for you when you can't. Complete a Medical Directive that describes the kinds of care you want and don't want. Utah has a standard form for Medical Directives. Every Utahn should have one. You can get it here.

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