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Advance Directives Can Benefit Patients, Families, and Health Care System

Nov 02, 14
Advance Directives Can Benefit Patients, Families, and Health Care System

Nearly one out of four older Americans say that either they or a family member have experienced excessive or unwanted medical treatment, according to the latest issue of The Gerontological Society of America’s Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR), which goes on to show that Americans strongly support holding doctors accountable when they fail to honor patients’ end-of-life health care wishes.

This PP&AR, titled “Advanced Illness Care: Issues and Options,” features 12 articles that present new ways of understanding the complexity of securing appropriate advanced illness care and the decision-making dilemmas it presents.  It also provides a valuable benefit by reviewing specific programs, demonstrations, and tools that family members and providers can use in providing care to persons with advanced illness. These models are person- and family-centered, and preliminary evaluations find that they may be cost-effective as well. Support for the publication was provided by Compassion & Choices.

“It is important to ensure that patients and their wishes are what drive the health care system, particularly at the end of life,” said Daniel R. Wilson, the national and federal programs director for Compassion & Choices. “We were pleased to partner with The Gerontological Society of America to publish this issue of the PP&AR, which includes cutting edge writers and thinkers in the advanced illness and end-of-life field.”

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