Advance Directives: Let's Make a Law
I should've done it six years ago, when my wife, pregnant with twins, decided it would be a good idea for her to have one. Typically, she followed through. She gently pressured me to do one too, but I never did, and she never pushed too hard. I suppose I'm like most folks. I didn't like talking about it with her then, and I don't like thinking about it for myself now, and hey, isn't there a baseball game on?
So I've run out of excuses. All mine needs now is the signature of two witnesses and my wife.
Find your own state-specific advance directive form, and encourage everyone you know to do so as well. It's easy. But hard. And that's the problem.
Make It a Medicare Requirement
Banner Health CEO Peter Fine says we, as a nation, should make completing a living will and medical power of attorney a part of the Medicare application process. His reasoning:
- It would likely make a big dent in healthcare costs
- It doesn't take long
- It will help significantly improve quality of life, peace of mind, and dignity for families in time of stress
"Costs would be reduced significantly if you forced every Medicare enrollee to have a healthcare power of attorney or living will and for them to produce this document at enrollment," Fine says. "Having gone through this with my own mother, both my wife and I have living wills, and our kids have copies so in a stressful time, they know exactly what to do."
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