March 9, 2014
<p>As a clinical ethicist, many of the requests for assistance that come my way have to do with advance directives, either the lack of any documented wishes, incomplete or unfamiliar forms, or otherwise confusing messages about what a patient truly wants when it comes to life sustaining medical treatment. Too often, my help is needed when the patient is no longer able to tell others what he or she wants and does not want. On one such call, a group of compassionate nurses and I sifted through a charts to see what we could learn about a particular patient’s known wishes. In the course of our conversation, a nurse asked me if I had heard about LaCrosse, Wisconsin where 98% of the town’s population has advance directives. After giving me a quick summary between her own patient charting, delivering meds, and coordinating a pending admission, she printed the article. For anyone who missed it (like me) the link is here: <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2014/03/05/286126451/living-wills-are-the-talk-of-the-town-in-la-crosse-wis">LaCrosse Wisconsin on NPR</a>.</p>
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March 4, 2014
Please, please go read this wonderful and moving and honest cartoon about, among other things, why we don't do end-of-life planning, by longtime and beloved New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast. Really, go read it.
June 13, 2012
Okay, I am probably one of the last people in the United States (no, probably the world) to watch the movie “The Descendants”.…