Life Care Planning

Planning For Your Future Healthcare Needs

Planning For Your Future Healthcare Needs

Most of us don’t have an advance healthcare directive. Why should we? Because an accident can happen to anyone, at any age. Because media coverage of Terri Schiavo or Nancy Cruzan or Karen Ann Quinlan made you realize you needed to get this done. But you still haven’t. Because if you are incapacitated and need...

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An Ethical Question: Whether to Reveal a Devastating Diagnosis

An Ethical Question: Whether to Reveal a Devastating Diagnosis

Suppose you learn that your mother’s longstanding memory problems have been diagnosed as “mild dementia” by her neurologist. You are witnessing her deteriorating cognitive impairment and memory loss and so you meet privately with her doctor. You learn that your mother has Alzheimer’s. The physician counsels postponing this information to your parent because he...

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Educational Podcasts for the Health Care Consumer

Educational Podcasts for the Health Care Consumer

Free podcasts are available to the general public, courtesy of my professional association, the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC).   For instance, Richard Heasley, director of San Francisco’s Conard House, presented a teleconference on May 16, 2012  entitled “Effective Teamwork with Psychiatric Patients.” Other topics include eldercare, patient safety, Medicare, and many others. You can...

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Caveat emptor*

Caveat emptor*

There is a Catch-22 (well, one of several) for health care consumers trying to manage medical expenses. This is especially galling if you happen to be in a so-called “consumer-directed health plan,” also known as a high-deductible plan. What’s the catch? The idea of the consumer-directed plan is to make you aware of how...

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Which ER Should You Go To?

Which ER Should You Go To?

Please see Kevin M.D.’s recent guest blog about choosing a hospital and your consumer rights. * * * Chances are there are several hospitals in your area. If you witness a friend experiencing a stroke, do you know the best ER in the area for her? Of course! You and your friend cased local...

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Advance Health Directives in California

You know how important it is to have an advance directive in place so that you have control over situations if at some time you are unable to express your wishes.  If you live in California, your Advance Health Directive can be placed on file with the Secretary of State.  Please go here for...

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Who Will Perform Your Autopsy?

Sounds grisly, I know.  But autopsies provide much medical fuel for research and improved clinical practice. However, they are rarely performed anymore outside of the forensic realm. The pupose of the medical autopsy is different. It resolves differences between the true pathology of disease and its clinical presentation. Especially in the elderly population, when...

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Advance care planning and medical issues to consider

Technology is both a blessing and a curse.  It can bring someone back from the brink of death so that they continue to live a fulfilling existence.  It can also keep one alive for years even if there is no brain function.  Clearly one needs to be extremely specific as to their wishes for...

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