Compassion & Choices has united with 15 major healthcare and aging organizations in a powerful new coalition to ensure patients’ end-of-life wishes are honored. The coalition collaborators are advancing The Campaign to End Unwanted Medical Treatment, which builds on Compassion & Choices’ years of work in this area.
The campaign seeks to focus healthcare policymakers on establishing provisions to ensure that medical professionals determine and enforce patients’ end-of-life treatment directives.
“The assembly of these respected organizations around the problem of unwanted medical treatment is a major step forward to build consumer confidence surrounding the healthcare they receive throughout serious illnesses or at the end of life,” said Ashley Carson Cottingham, director of policy and advocacy at Compassion & Choices.
Dr. Bud Hammes from Gundersen Health of LaCrosse, WI, led the first in a series of Washington, D.C., policy luncheons. He showcased Respecting Choices, a program in which an amazing 96% of patients have stated their advance care plans and medical staff adhere to the plans 98% of the time. The program’s centerpiece is an effort to listen to patients discuss their values, preferences and goals, and then align the patient’s medical treatment plan with those criteria. Respecting Choices employs a medical protocol for advance care planning that includes a quality-improvement process and accountability for medical staff – the same approach applied to other standard medical care. More