Legal, Medical and Financial Advanced Care Planning

Posted by suzanne bobrien on February 9th, 2016

Although it is undeniable that planning for your death is a scary thing to do, it is also wise and inevitable for persons having terminal illnesses. A person that has a life terminating condition ought to discuss about his or her death and dying with friends, family and the physician. Such a person should also commence on his end of life planning including drawing up a will. Studies have shown that persons who had completed an enduring financial power of attorney had a chance that was nine times higher in getting an advance directive than their counterparts. Persons who had drawn up a will had likelihood that was 2.5 times higher of getting an advance directive than their counterparts.

These statistics present an opportunity for enhancing advance care planning in settings other than those that are health based. Persons that are responsible for giving advice in these wider processes of future planning such as financial planners and lawyers need to be co-opted into programs that encourage persons to plan for both their financial future as well as their health. For instance, a lawyer having an end of life conversation with clients on their will, ought to explain to them what are advanced directives and avail information to them that will enable them make a decision whether they would want to complete one.

This however has potential challenges in ensuring that the advance directives that are completed outside a healthcare system input from health professionals that is sufficient for example, that completed advance directive was done on informed decision. These issues may be addressed by professionals in the legal field as well as financial advisors that connect clients to an appropriate healthcare professional to provide them with advice.

Considering that most people are averse to advance care planning, broader thinking is necessary for discovering all triggers possible for initiating future end of life planning health decision-making. This will be inclusive of events that are health-related such as hospital admissions, aged care facility admission and also plan on other aspects of individual’s lives.

This then implies that targeting groups of people that need to be engaged in drawing end of life plans needs to be a concerted effort between financial advisors, lawyers and healthcare professionals. Each group of professionals needs to read from the same script and act as a referral to each other when advising clients on the options they have. With coordinated help, there will be lesser need for patients to spend their last days worrying over the best alternatives to take.

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suzanne bobrien

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suzanne bobrien
Joined: January 6th, 2016
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