Anchor lead: Now it’s more important than ever to have advance directives, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Preparing for a Better End is the title of a timely new book by Dan Morehaim, an emergency medicine physician and former professor in the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, and it’s timely because of the pandemic.
Morehaim: It’s always apt because people are always going to be dying. But it’s particularly apt now in Covid for two reasons: one of course is that more people are at risk but also because the nature of the Covid illness and the circumstances around it are that people can become fairly incapacitated in terms of their ability to communicate what they want pretty quickly. And historically we usually rely on the family at the bedside. So if the patient can’t connect you’ve got the spouse or the children or somebody there. Families are not at the bedside; in fact its even more challenging because you don’t even know who to call. :30
Morehaim advocates for current advance directives for everyone who’s older than 18 years and also believes people should prepare a document for any hospitalization they may experience that also has a complete medical history, medications, and a current EKG if possible. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.