Minimize Ethical Confusion with an Advance Health Care Directive to Help Your Aging Parent's Doctors

An advance health care directive for aging parents could eliminate many problems for their doctors. A survey of 10,000 doctors by Medscape identified many ethical dilemmas they face. Who to talk to should not have to be among them. 

"Doctors were always making a large number of moral choices, but were not labeling them or seeing them as such; much of the decisions were unconscious," Murray says. For example, deciding whom to talk to in a patient's family, or getting informed consent, were previously done on the basis of a doctor's judgment or what would bring the best results. However, according to Murray, due to legalities and regulations doctors need to think: "What are my obligations? Who do I talk to?"

Exclusive Ethics Survey Results: Doctors Struggle With Tougher-Than-Ever Dilemmas


You can take the time, now, to talk with your aging parents and get them to name a health proxy. If there ever is a crisis and they can't speak for themselves, you don't want doctors drawn into a family feud about who should be making decisions for mom or dad.

Here is one example of a family in the midst of this conversation. Dr Nancy Snyderman speaks with her own parents

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Any time that you postpone the conversations about your parent's care or the options they face could be a detriment.

It may sound overwhelming, but many future stumbling blocks for your aging parents can be minimized by completing a medical power of attorney form.






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Advance Health Care Directive to Talk to Aging Parents