August 4, 2015 – Informing Everyone
Anchor lead: Identifying someone to make your healthcare decisions if needed is just the first step, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Many interventions such as chemotherapy that can erode quality of life are still employed in people with advanced cancer within weeks of death, a Johns Hopkins study led by Amol Narang has shown. Narang says even though the majority had a power of attorney additional steps must also be taken.
Narang: I think the important piece of advice for patients is that their caregivers really have to be involved in the process. Making sure that there is another person who is knowledgeable about your values and your preferences for the care that you would like to receive I think is essential. And that doesn’t just mean assigning a durable power of attorney, it means assigning an informed durable power of attorney, with whom you’ve had the appropriate level of discussion. :30
Advance directives and discussions with your physician will help make sure your wishes for end of life care are known, Narang says. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.