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Advance directives are only a first step

Compassion & Choices’ Chief Program Officer wrote a moving piece that ran in The Virginian-Pilot. Take a look at this excerpt below and check out the full article here.

MY GRANDMOTHER died feeling betrayed, frightened and utterly powerless in a bleak hospital room.

She’d completed an advance directive about her end-of-life goals, preferences and values, including a Do Not resuscitate order. But when an emergency landed her in the hospital, the emergency room team ignored her advance directive and resuscitated her back to “life” just long enough for her to realize they had ignored her documented wishes.

She died shortly after being resuscitated, but not before she let the health care team know she was angry.

Unfortunately, my grandmother is not alone. In conversations with supporters of the end-of-life choice advocacy organization that I work for, Compassion & Choices, I often hear similar tales. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that advance directives alone are not enough to ensure that people’s end-of-life goals, priorities and values are honored.

Click here to read the rest of the article.