ANCHOR LEAD: EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ADVANCE MEDICAL DIRECTIVES, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Advance medical directives allow you to inform your loved ones of your wishes should you be unable to make those decisions yourself, yet a Johns Hopkins study led by Dan Morhaim has shown that only about one-third of adults have them in place. And Morhaim is out to change that.
MORHAIM: Advance directives are readily available, they’re free, they cost absolutely nothing to complete, and it’s probably one of the most cost-effective health care strategies out there that both provides humane, decent, personalized case. Because advance directives does not mean an elimination or diminution of care it means care according specifically to the wishes of the patient. Also it’s an excellent way that actually reduces health care costs, because a tremendous amount of dollars are spent in end of life care. It’s estimated in fact that about 25% of the dollars most of us spend in our entire lives are spent in our last illness or our last weeks of life. :34
Advance medical directive forms are easily found on the internet. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.