February 2010 posts
Journal Retracts Study that Spurred Concerns of Potential Link between Autism-Like Symptoms, MMR Vaccine; Swedish Physician Interviewed for KIRO TV Story
The goal of this series, “Perspectives in Health Care,” is to provide a point of view on various aspects of the future health care. Because end-of-life planning has become such a lightening-rod issue, I thought it would be worthwhile to make it the focus of this letter.
At some point in the health-care debate, the issue of end-of-life planning became associated with “death panels” and the idea that a group of bureaucrats will decide who lives and who doesn’t. That’s a shame because that’s not what end-of-life planning is about. In fact, it’s the opposite of that.
End-of-life planning is about you taking control and making your own decisions about how you want to live out the last few years, months and days of your life. It’s about understanding your options in advance; consulting with family and physicians (even pastors and attorneys); and making your end-of-life wishes known via advance directives and living wills.
In my view, it’s one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your loved ones, especially if you’re seriously ill or nearing the final stages of a chronic condition. It allows you and your clinical team to plan a course of care that will help you have the best possible quality of life given your medical condition, so that you and your loved ones can make the most of your time together.
Providing the best possible quality of life in the final days