The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Opinion

February 27, 2010

Don't delay decisions about care

When a family member is in the hospital with a terminal illness, many times arguments about the right course of action occur. This can lead to discontent and division among family members. I have seen this many times throughout my nursing career.

I am certain the patient would not want their relatives fighting; he or she would want them supporting each other during this time of grief.

The simple solution is for an advanced directive to be in place. When the patient is unable to speak on his own behalf, this document can help to clarify his wishes for end-of-life care and alleviate conflicts among family members. Advanced directives include a living will and medical power of attorney.

Discussions about death and the dying process are always difficult for patients, families, and health care professionals. This difficult subject needs to be addressed before the final days of life occur to provide the best approach to the process. Advanced directives can help to facilitate the choices patients have made. It is imperative that once these documents are initiated, they are discussed with family members and with the health care professionals assisting with medical care.

During the past year, the topic of end-of-life care has developed into debates about forced euthanasia. I believe that this has negatively impacted public perception of advanced directives and their benefit. In April, an annual national event takes place to encourage discussions about advanced directive planning.

Health care facilities that receive Medicare reimbursement have a requirement to ask whether or not patients have advanced directives and to provide advanced directive information and education. Upon hospital admission, patients are asked whether they have an advanced directive. In my experience, patients frequently believe that I am referring to their last will and testament and a power of attorney for their estate.

Text Only
Opinion
  • NWS-CN 06-29 Heath photo Earning diploma completes veteran's life DANVILLE — After 68 years, Ralph Heath can finally say he has received his high school diploma.

    June 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Newspaper remains strong

    The Commercial-News recently undertook two major changes.
    First, we went from a seven-day publishing cycle to a six-day publishing cycle, eliminating the Monday Commercial-News.

    November 13, 2011

  • Our pages take on a new look

    Today marks a new day for the Commercial-News.
    Today’s edition looks different than yesterday’s, and we hope you find it easier to read and more pleasing to the eye. Allow me to give a little background on the reason for the change.

    September 18, 2011

  • Greet spring with a nature hike

    Every year, hundreds — maybe thousands — of people drive a few miles north of Covington to visit the beautiful and unique “North Trail” at the Portland Arch Nature Preserve.

    April 11, 2010

  • Better to let sleeping ancestors lie

    How many genealogists does it take to change a light bulb?

    March 28, 2010

  • Don't delay decisions about care In many instances, full treatment is provided even when these measures are futile. In the instance of maintaining life sustaining treatments when they are futile, the cost is even greater than a monetary value. At some point, the quality of life needs to outweigh the quantity. With a terminal diagnosis, treatments to extend life incur a great cost to suffering for the patient and for the family of the patient.

    February 27, 2010

  • State rules on side of citizens

    February 21, 2010

  • Health reform must help everyone I know that as you read this, many of you are going to disagree with me. That’s OK, but that’s also the problem.

    December 5, 2009

  • Build a better community

    September 27, 2009

  • Comments: Two men killed in attempted home invasion

    September 23, 2009

E-edition
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!
Must Read