Your Choice at Their Discretion – End of Life Plans

The advocacy group End of Life Choices New York recently created an end of life directive specifically for people with dementia. This advance directive allows dementia patients to express their wishes in formal writing. It may direct their caregivers to “withhold hand-feeding and fluids at the end of life” so as to speed up the dying process and avoid the worst possible outcomes related to the disease. Yet, even when individuals choose to put these wishes in writing, facilities have discretion in honoring the outlined wishes. People with dementia who choose to sign these forms do so because it allows them to exercise some power over their life and death while they still have the capacity to do so. However, long-term care and living facilities are under no obligation to abide by these wishes.   This can create a “false sense of security.”

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Blog post authored by Jacque Condon

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