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ElderLaw Radio Interview: Ending Life on Your Own Terms
At the end of life, when we are too sick to speak for ourselves, how can we make sure that our health care wishes are followed? How can we let our doctors know that we want them to do everything they can to save our life -- or that we don't?
As Charles Sabatino, director of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Commission on Law and Aging, tells Harry Margolis in a recent ElderLaw Radio interview, there is an increasing number of options available to make sure terminally ill patients receive the care they want -- including the right to refuse life-saving treatment. In the interview, Sabatino explains the difference between options like living wills, do-not-resuscitate orders, and health care directives.
Sabatino stresses that an advance directive (such as a living will) by itself does not ensure that your wishes will be understood and respected. Even more important than an advance directive, says Sabatino, is choosing a loved one ahead of time to act as your health care proxy (also known as a health care power of attorney). Sabatino says that a number of resources can help with communicating wishes to a health care proxy. The ABA publishes one such resource, the Consumer's Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning..
To listen to Harry's 10-minute interview with Sabatino, click here.
To browse other ElderLaw Radio interviews, click here.