This week’s blog post features guest contributor Dan Morhaim, M.D, co-author of Preparing for A Better End: Expert Lessons on Death and Dying for Your and Your Loved Ones.

Perhaps it’s the result of a serious accident, an unexpected blood clot, or a deteriorating COVID19 infection. Picture this: You are brought to a hospital, unconscious or too weak and confused to understand what is happening to you, and without the ability to make your treatment wishes known. This is an all too common occurrence. As an ER doctor, I’ve seen it plenty of times – more than I’d like to count. And in today’s COVID era, you may not even have access to a family member or friend to stay with you.

In that situation, who do you want making decisions for you? A loved one who cares about your wellbeing? A hospital committee or government agent who doesn’t know you? Overworked doctors and nurses with too many patients? If you don’t have an Advance Directive, literally anyone could end up making life-and-death medical decisions for you.

An advance directive, sometimes called a “living will,” is an easily accessible, free form that allows you to designate the kind of care you want and who has the power to make decisions for you if you are unable to do so yourself.

For more on the benefits of Advance Directives from a fraud perspective, click here.

We are the first generation in human history who are likely to have some say over the way we meet our end. Eighty percent of Americans die from chronic conditions. Yet only thirty-five percent of adults over 18 have completed an advance directive.

Talking about serious illness and death is not easy, but it is important. In a crisis, it is a gift to a family to know what their loved one wants, not to have to decide for them. Hurt feelings and discord can be avoided when the patient has designated who they want to make those decisions when they cannot speak for themselves.

To learn more, see “Preparing for A Better End”. It’s a practical guidebook that provides hope, empowerment, and inspiration. It can help you open this often-avoided discussion with your loved ones calmly and reassuringly while providing the information and guidance needed to ensure that your values are reflected and honored.

Advize Health LLC is a healthcare advisory and consulting company that provides a breadth of healthcare industry services in the payer, provider, and legal communities. Contact Eric Rubenstein for more information on our Fraud Spotlight series.