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?"
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