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Aurora Health Care Promotes Advance Directives

Monday, July 21, 2008

No one wants to decide how to end a loved ones life when they are too sick to make the decision on their own. Planning what kind of end-of-life care is a personal decision and is increasingly becoming part of the health care landscape. Advance Directives help avoid confusion and pain and stress on loved ones left behind.

Advance Directives documents are a way of choosing what kind of medical care you would seek if you were too ill to speak for yourself. The documents help guide health professionals to provide the type of care consistent with the patient’s wishes.

All Aurora Health Care hospitals offer Advance Directives options for their patients, and all of its physicians are required to offer these documents so that they know what appropriate care to provide for their patients when they complete these documents.

“I think it’s the single most important thing you can do for yourself and for your family,” said Alison Keenan, registered nurse, Aurora Visiting Nurse Association of Wisconsin. “Quality health care and hospice care are very important things to consider when you are healthy enough to explore your options. A lot of people don’t think about it until it’s too late.’’

She said it’s rare that families agree ahead of time as to the care their loved one would like to receive and that places a great deal of pressure on them to decide. Keenan said people procrastinate for a number of reasons, including fear of filling out the document, fear of losing control and not receiving treatment.

“The bottom line here is that with Advance Directives, you have the option to reduce the pain and burden that can be left for loved ones as they try to determine your wishes,’’ she said.
For more information or about Advance Directives or to obtain Advance Directives documents, follow up with your primary care physician to obtain these documents free of charge.

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora offers services at sites in 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.

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Contact: Marie Daniel (262-767-6264)

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