Patients: Most haven't prepared an advance healthcare directive

May 16, 2008

More than eight in 10 Pennsylvania residents have failed to prepare an advance healthcare directive that would guide their family, doctors, and other clinicians in an end-of-life situation, according to The Institute for Good Medicine at the Pennsylvania Medical Society.

More than eight in 10 Pennsylvania residents have failed to prepare an advance healthcare directive that would guide their family, doctors, and other clinicians in an end-of-life situation, according to The Institute for Good Medicine at the Pennsylvania Medical Society. The group found that only 16 percent of patients polled had an advance healthcare directive; another 24 percent said that they didn't have one but are considering one. Having-or not having-an advance directive could ultimately affect the care you give. So if you don't typically talk to your patients about these important documents-a living will and a healthcare power of attorney-you might want to get into the habit of mentioning them during follow-up visits.