Monday, November 20, 2017

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End-of-Life Planning Part 1 - The Advance Directive for Health Care

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In a previous post I wrote about basic estate planning steps that everyone should consider.  An important compenant of planning in Oregon is the Advance Directive for Health Care, a statutory form used to appoint a health care representative to make health care decisions when we are unable and/or to express wishes about end-of-life decisions that may someday need to be made.  This video includes a discussion between a terminal cancer patient and his pain management physician about extraordinary life-saving measures.  It appears that a form similar to Oregon's Advance Directive is being contemplated.  Included is a short interview of the patient's daughter, who I think articulates well the benefits of this type of planning from the perspective of family members.  She expresses a sense of calm and relief about her father having addressed these issues.  In part 2 of this series (post to follow), the important role of doctors is examined within the backdrop of federal health care reform signed into law late last year.  A provision that would have allowed doctors to be compensated for their time in conducting end-of-life counseling was removed from the bill prior to its passage.  I think doctors play a crucial role in educating their patients on the things to consider in making these decisions.  It's interesting to hear this doctor's view.

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