“As a hospitalist who often works in the Emergency Department, this is a conversation I have many times every single day. At least three quarters of patients are unable to give us medical treatment-related instructions because they are unconscious or confused, so we have to rely on loved ones for answers.

Forcing these decisions on relatives is something I don’t like to do. But the truth is, talking among friends and family before a health crisis, makes it easier for me to offer treatments and provide care that aligns with my patients’ values, beliefs and goals.”

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