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Advance Directives

Protecting Herself From Hero Doctors

Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH | Posted 09.24.2014 | Healthy Living
Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH

"You want to get a Do Not Resuscitate tattoo on your chest?" I asked, as one might say to a friend whose goal was to lose 50 pounds. You'd support it, but you knew it would never happen. "No, I have one," she said quietly, pulling her shirt aside modestly to show the skin over her heart muscle. I stared at it unbelieving.

Melissa Rivers' Courageous Decision

David Kessler | Posted 09.12.2014 | Impact
David Kessler

I've helped thousands of people with end-of-life decisions and I can tell you that the process is beyond stressful. It's extremely confusing and it's racked with guilt. As we mourn the death of Joan Rivers, here is what we can learn from her daughter's brave decision.

Vegetative States and PET Scans: Is More Information Better?

Ruth Macklin | Posted 06.18.2014 | Healthy Living
Ruth Macklin

One typically thinks of advances in medical science and technology as having unalloyed benefits. The ability to cure illness, the mitigation of pain a...

Valentine's Day Gifts - Living Wills, Advance Directives, DNRs

Joseph Cooper | Posted 04.13.2014 | Books
Joseph Cooper

Two of the most notable books published in the U.S. in 2013 "trouble" readers with medical, ethical, moral, emotional, psychological and legal struggles that arise when a loved one is succumbing to insidious pain and irreversible incapacity.

Texas Fetal Rights Case: Delayed Justice

Ruth Macklin | Posted 03.30.2014 | Politics
Ruth Macklin

Although this case was resolved satisfactorily -- probably not soon enough for the distraught family -- a question remains about the ethics of the Texas law.

Unexpected Results From an Unexpected Resolution

The Rev. Sue Wintz | Posted 03.19.2014 | Healthy Living
The Rev. Sue Wintz

I usually don't go for New Year's resolutions, but I'm glad we did this one. I want my voice to be heard loud and clear if there ever comes a time when my family has to make health care decisions on my behalf.

When Fetal Rights Trump Those of Patient and Family

Ruth Macklin | Posted 03.16.2014 | Politics
Ruth Macklin

The case of Marlise Munoz may ultimately be decided on legal grounds -- that is, whether the Texas statute is applicable to a dead body containing a living fetus. The ethical question, however, remains.

Jaweed Kaleem

Tech Companies Take Aim At Death | Jaweed Kaleem | Posted 06.13.2013 | Religion

As his parents age, David Glitzer has begun to accept that the day will come when they are no longer alive. But until recently, Glitzer wasn't sure ho...

Do You Have a Duty to Perform CPR?

Janice Van Dyck | Posted 05.07.2013 | Healthy Living
Janice Van Dyck

I think we all have a right to die the way we want. My biggest concern is whether many of our life-saving techniques just prolong a life of suffering. I have seen the agony that many times accompanies our heroic efforts to stem the force of Mother Nature.

Facing the Fiscal Cliff: Saving Health Care Dollars the Right Way

Dan K. Morhaim, M.D. | Posted 02.19.2013 | Politics
Dan K. Morhaim, M.D.

Respecting individual rights is the best way to reduce health care costs, and perhaps this is one area where our political leaders can find common ground. One way to start might be a high visibility national effort, beginning with President and Mrs. Obama publicly signing their advance directives at the White House.

Pro-Choice to the End: Taking More Control of Your Final Days

Steve Heilig | Posted 01.29.2013 | Healthy Living
Steve Heilig

Even if your state does not (yet) have a POLST option, consider documenting your preferences using other forms, like a living will, durable power of attorney for health care, and the like.

Advance Care Planning Affects the Smallest and Biggest Decisions

Mary F. Mulcahy | Posted 02.14.2013 | Healthy Living
Mary F. Mulcahy

The barriers to effective advance care planning are numerous. It is imperative that we, as patients, health care providers and members of society, overcome these barriers and remain active in pursuing our personal values and goals.

Uninformed Consent, Unshared Decision-Making in the ICU

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 11.10.2012 | Healthy Living
Barbara Coombs Lee

Sadly, informed consent and shared decision-making, the twin pillars of patient-centered health care, aren't the rock-solid structures we would hope for. That's the lesson of a new study in the Journal of Intensive Care Medicine.

Make Alzheimer's End-of-Life Healthcare Decisions Long Before You Need Them

Marie Marley | Posted 07.22.2012 | Fifty
Marie Marley

The most important decision is to stop focusing on the loved one's approaching death and start figuring out everything that can be done to help them have the highest possible quality of life.

How Sarah Palin's Irresponsible Rhetoric Prevented Medicare Savings

Wendell Potter | Posted 07.14.2012 | Politics
Wendell Potter

The Affordable Care Act might have been able to curtail Medicare spending further if it hadn't been for Palin, who charged that a provision of the law allowing Medicare to pay for end-of-life discussions would lead to government-run "death panels."

Death And Taxes: Why We Need To Talk Openly About End-of-Life Care

Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs | Posted 06.13.2012 | Home
Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs

The greatest gift you can give to your family, is letting them know what your wishes are regarding how you want your body treated as you near the end of your life. So, in addition to preparing your tax return, take the time to prepare your advance directive.

Young Latinos are Ready to Lead their Local Communities to Build National Creditability

Glenn Llopis | Posted 03.20.2012 | Latino Voices
Glenn Llopis

Young Latinos are ready to take charge, and I couldn't be more excited. On January 11, I had the opportunity to launch the 2012 Hispanic Voice Town Hall Tour with an event in Santa Ana, California.

Boooooooo! What Tricks, Treats Terrify You?

Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D. | Posted 12.24.2011 | Los Angeles
Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D.

It's the season of Halloween, or maybe Dia de Los Muertos, and besides carving pumpkins, loading up on mini-bags of peanut M&Ms and thinking lots about the dead, we also pause at this time of year to, sort of, celebrate our fears.

Long-Term Health Care: Think, Plan While You're Healthy, Able

Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D. | Posted 11.12.2011 | Los Angeles
Glenn D. Braunstein, M.D.

Americans are notorious disease-and-death deniers. We cling to the fantasy that death will come only when we're age 100 and have earlier taken a brisk walk, read the WSJ and had a romp in the hay. It doesn't happen that way.

We Don't Talk About How We Are Going To Die

Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs | Posted 10.15.2011 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs

Thinking about the prospect of only having several months to live, I wonder how many of us could do what Dudley is doing while he is dying -- living one day at a time?

A Million Questions That Need To Be Asked Of Our Aging Parents

Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs | Posted 09.05.2011 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs

One of the Ten Commandments is to "obey" our parents. Well, what happens when we think that it is not in their best interest to continue living where they are living or we feel it is unsafe, and they disagree with us?

Let's Stop Paying For Unwanted Treatment At Life's End

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 08.09.2011 | Healthy Living
Barbara Coombs Lee

It is well documented that although advance directives are offered and included in the medical chart -- as the law requires -- in the end they are usually ignored.

What Does God Think Of Our Life-Extending Technology?

Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs | Posted 07.10.2011 | Religion
Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs

When I lead workshops on completing advance directives, I ask people to prayerfully consider the following questions and to remember that God will be present with them throughout this process.

Health Care Decisions Day: Make it Matter

Barbara Coombs Lee | Posted 06.17.2011 | Home
Barbara Coombs Lee

Saturday, April 16 was the fourth annual National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). The NHDD coalition aims to inspire, educate, and empower the public...

What's More Important To You, Quality Or Quantity Of Life?

Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs | Posted 11.17.2011 | Healthy Living
Rev. Dr. Martha R. Jacobs

We need to determine for ourselves what our "bottom line" is. The question becomes: When is enough, enough?