October 31, 2018

Will your advance directives be honored?

There was a time (the 1970s) when we were most concerned that the medical profession would keep us alive artificially--using feeding tubes and ventilators--against our wishes. Now we have advance directives to spell out instructions for the use of life-extending measures. But do health care professionals always understand what we want?

In a series of "TRIAD" studies, Dr. Fred Mirarchi of the University of Pittsburgh has shown that a great majority of Emergency Department personnel are confused about what it means when a patient has a "Living Will" and when it is appropriate to forego CPR for comfort care only.

Watch Jo's VERY SHORT video on advance directives in the ER to understand how important it is to have an effective advocate with you in every health care situation, in case you are unable to think or speak for yourself. Words matter.