17 Apr, 2015, 06:45 ET
PORTLAND, Ore., April 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Likely GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush's suggestion to require Medicare recipients to complete an advance directive is a step in the right direction, according to Compassion & Choices, the nation's leading end-of-life choice organization.
Bush made the suggestion today in Manchester, NH, while defending his role as Florida governor to keep alive a brain-dead woman, Terry Schiavo. Her family battled over whether she would continue to receive artificial feeding after being in a vegetative state for 15 years.
But Compassion & Choices proposes an alternative solution: providing incentives to Medicare beneficiaries to complete advance directives and discuss their end-of-life wishes with healthcare providers, as well as denying payment to healthcare providers who fail to honor patients' end-of-life wishes.
"We favor a carrot-and-stick approach because without an enforcement mechanism, advance directives often are ignored," said Compassion & Choices President Barbara Coombs Lee, an attorney who was an ER and ICU nurse and physician assistant for 25 years. "Terry Schiavo was a young woman, so her case is exhibit A of why adults of all ages should complete an advance directive and discuss their end-of-life wishes with their loved ones."
One out of four older Americans say that either they or a family member have experienced excessive or unwanted medical treatment, the equivalent of about 25 million people, according to a poll last year conducted by the research division of Purple Strategies, one of the top-five most accurate polling firms in the 2012 election.
The Compassion & Choices website allows users to access advance directives for every state: www.compassionandchoices.org/what-we-do/advance-directive/.
Compassion & Choices is the nation's oldest and largest organization working to improve care and expand choice at the end of life. More information is available at www.compassionandchoices.org.
Contact: Sean Crowley, 202-818-8256-c, [email protected]
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SOURCE Compassion & Choices
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