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Geriatrics: An End-of-Life Policy Essay

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Updated: Nov 20th, 2021

Absence of a living will

A Living Will is a written document that indicates specific preferences you would like performed on your medical condition or what you would like done (Porter 3).An individual writes statements that show whom they have appointed to act on their behalf in case of failure to communicate (Durable Power of Attorney for Medical Care) as well as what medical procedure should be taken up at a certain situation of illness.

When one dies without this document, we can take the following steps to determine what the person would have wanted done:

First, if the person had a family, the most probable decision would be to distribute the property to them. They are the first beneficiaries. Debts incurred by the person can also be determined. These are duties the person would have done anyway (Porter 7-8).

We ask for the preferences of those close to the person. They can give a hint on how to dispose of the body and inheritance. Religious leaders of the person’s religion can give advice. Doctors can also give their opinion upon which a decision can be made.

Eventually, a unanimous decision should involve all those concerned to avoid unethical procedures and litigations against the decision made.

Appropriation of Terminal care funds

The cost of caring for the terminally ill has been rising, but the services are discriminative. About 50% of Americans have chronic conditions which need care to relax fatalities (Shugarman, Lorenz and Lynn 255-258). The government and stakeholders need to come up with a policy that will address this.

In most cases, payment for this service is used up by few people with compound continual diseases; it means those who are yet to become too ill do not receive this facility. To avoid overuse of the facility by some, it is important to determine a proper way of distributing such funds:

First, let’s identify patients with severe illnesses, and then gauge their ability to fund for their care. We must be flexible to accommodate the varying nature of illnesses. Those whose families can afford will not be taken up in the Medicare Hospice; instead we will support them to continue the care at home. We should prioritize family care giving by allocating more funds and availing insurance to them.

We should reward relatives who care for them. Usually, the task of caring for a terminal patient is stressful; argue Shugarman, Lorenz and Lynn (266).A gift to their effort would be a boost.

Because it is difficult to cure these illnesses, the emphasis should be on helping the patients to complete their life duties like writing wills and communicating to them to accept their condition. Here we should pay nurses well to keep up their care-giving without discrimination.

Aside from this, the appropriation should involve further direction of funds to research on trends with the support of institutions like the National Institute on Aging. We should also test the strategies for aiding families with low income as well as controlling facilities locally.

Fighting terminal illnesses may seem worthless but we have a universal opposition to death and respect for human life. What we need is to redirect the flow of funds to continue caring for the sick rather than concentrating them in Medicare Hospice which has not adequately addressed the concern.

Works cited

Porter, Lucinda K, RN. Final steps with HCV: An HCSP Guide on Death and Dying. Hepatitis C Support project 1(2006): Web.

Shugarman, Lisa R., PhD, Lorenz Karl, MD, MSHS and Joanne Lynn, MD, MS. “End-of Life Care: an Agenda for Policy Improvement.” Clinics in Geriatric medicine 21(2005):255-272. 2009. Web.

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