(Washington, DC – June 11, 2015) Compassion & Choices, the nation’s leading nonprofit devoted to improving care and expanding choice at the end of life, praised yesterday’s introduction of The Care Planning Act of 2015 by U.S. Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA), a member of the Senate Health Committee.
The bipartisan bill would create a Medicare benefit for people facing grave illness to work with their doctor to define, articulate and document their personal goals for treatment. It would further help patients avoid excessive or unwanted medical treatment and receive only the care they want, consistent with their wishes, across care settings.
Responding to the bill’s introduction, Compassion & Choices National and Federal Programs Director Daniel Wilson said:
Senator Warner’s and Isakson’s legislation empowers people to truly get the outcomes they want when they are facing serious illness at the end of life. Too often during a health crisis, patients defer to a medical system that is so focused on keeping a body alive, it can forget the person inside. A focus on the person is what we need and what this bill provides.
For many Americans, spending their final weeks or months undergoing noncurative, exhausting, debilitating treatments is not the life they want. Individuals deserve choice at the end of life, and whether they choose a maximum quantity of days or a maximum quality of perhaps fewer days, their doctors need to support them. The Care Planning Act of 2015 goes a long way toward helping patients achieve personal clarity about their priorities, and helps healthcare providers honor those priorities. Compassion & Choices is proud to support this legislation.