Today is the day to make your health care decisions known. It’s National Health Care Decisions Day, a day aimed at encouraging Americans to speak up for themselves. Talk with your families about your own end of life preferences, and document those preferences in some form of advance directive.
We are very excited at Life Matters Media by the attention this initiative is receiving; I was very pleased to write this story distributed nationally today by Reuters Health: http://reut.rs/1qZYw3u
This afternoon, I’ll join a team at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in assisting patients and families to fill out their own advance directives– so if you know anyone headed in that direction today, encourage them to stop by.
Later on Relevant Radio, I’ll be talking about National Health Care Decisions Day with “A Closer Look” host Sheila Liaugminas in her “Under the Microscope” bioethics segment. It airs at 5:30 p.m. CST. If you’re in Chicago, that’s 950 A.M., and it streams online.
This is the day to make your voice heard. Where can you get advance directive forms? You can always ask your doctor, as legally binding forms vary from state to state. Our friends at Everplans have compiled this excellent resource that enables you to download state-specific forms.
If you haven’t visited our website recently, here’s a quick list of good reading– including an opinion piece by Co-Founder Dr. Mary Mulcahy that ran last week on cnn.com.
"Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall" is an intimate, unnerving exploration of death behind prison walls. The Oscar-nominated documentary centers on the final months of terminally ill prisoner George William “Jack” Hall and the prisoners-turned-hospice volunteers who care for him.
For patients and families to make informed choices about their own end of life care, reporters in every news medium must select more accurate language to describe and analyze noteworthy cases and concepts, said members of a panel at the Association of Health Care Journalists Conference in Denver.
If you use this day to make your own health care decisions, we would love to hear about it. Let us know!
President and Co-Founder
Life Matters Media’s Mission
Life Matters Media aims to be the premiere provider of information, resources and support for all involved in end of life decision-making. Through fostering better communication, we will empower the ill, aged, caregivers, surrogates and medical providers to navigate this life phase with confidence and dignity.
Life Matters Media’s Values
- All individuals should have the ability to participate in decisions that affect their destinies.
- Multiple and varied voices create a richer and more productive marketplace for the exchange of information.
- A broad range of choices surrounding end of life issues exists. These choices should be considered carefully.
- Neutral platforms are best to explore this journey and bring end of life issues to the forefront in a reflective forum.
Your Opinion Matters
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Life Matters Media is a 501(c)(3) organization. We are grateful for your support in our mission.
Seriously ill patients near the end of life who stop eating and drinking make an ethical and legal decision to hasten death, says Craig Klugman, chair of the department of health sciences at DePaul University in Chicago.
Voluntarily stopping eating and drinking (VSED) is legal in every state for the terminally ill. According to Klugman, seriously ill adults of sound mind should have the freedom to make decisions about their care at the end of life.
“While assisted suicide is only legal in a small number of states, rational suicide is legal everywhere,” Klugman told Life Matters Media. “This is not the same as removing artificial nutrition or a hydration feeding tube; a person stops ingesting food and liquid by mouth.”
Preparing for the end: Talking advance care planning on Relevant Radio
Co-Founder Randi Belisomo spoke about the importance of planning for the end of life with Sheila Liaugminas, host of A Closer Look.
Randi Belisomo and Loyola Bioethics Institute's Mark Kuczewski Discuss Study Findings Regarding Medical Students' Concerns about Becoming Desensitized to Dying Patients
"End of Life Care in a Changing Health Care Environment: The Impact of the Affordable Care Act and Accountable Care Organizations" was presented to a live audience gathered at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management on November 13th.
Life Matters NewswireRead More
Seriously ill patients near the end of life who stop eating and drinking make an ethical and legal decision to hasten death, says…Read More
Filmmaker Edgar Barens spent a grueling six months in-and-out of the Iowa State Penitentiary– one of the nation’s oldest maximum security prisons– gathering footage…