Book updates

For readers of the The practical guide to Health Care Advance Directives (2015 Edition), as changes to medical or legal issues surrounding end of life occur, I will post them here. You might want to print this page and keep it with your copy of the book, or make a note on that page.

Page 67. Physician-assisted suicide.
Oregon (1997), Washington (2008), Vermont (2013), California (2015), Colorado (2016) and Washington, D.C. (2017) have legalized physician-assisted suicide . . .
August 12, 2015 - The New Mexico Court of Appeals has now reversed a lower court ruling that had seemingly opened the way for doctors to give lethal prescriptions to terminally ill patients. 



Page 75. Hospice and palliative care.
A new Medicare benefit, effective January 1, 2016, reimburses your physician for consulting with you about advance care planning (your plans for care if you are unable in the future to think or speak for yourself). Until now, that paid consultation could occur only as part of the "Welcome to Medicare!" appointment or in conjunction with the diagnosis of a life-threatening illness.

 
Page 121. Medically-assisted dying in Canada.
June 2016
The Canadian Parliament has passed a bill to legalize medically-assisted dying in Canada. This law allows a patient to receive and self-administer a prescribed lethal dose of medicine as well as to have a health care professional administer a lethal dosage to a patient.