Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Legal Questions Answered For End of Life Care.

The American Bar Association, in coordination with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, has issued a new document that is meant to aid patients and their care-takers when facing legal issues in preparation for end of life.

The document can be found here and highlights such difficult issues as how to pay for the health care you need, what are a patient's rights, and planning how to manage your money and property.

I hope the Guide for the Seriously Ill gets some good distribution. One of the more challenging aspects of facing terminal illness is not just knowing how to tackle legal challenges but knowing exactly what those legal challenges are. Here's an excerpt from an article at Senior Spectrum:

Knowing what vital steps to take to get your financial and legal affairs in order when confronted by serious illness just became easier thanks to a new guide released by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Seniors and family members facing the onset of a life threatening illness or injury are often unaware of how to get their affairs in order to protect themselves and their families.

“The Legal Guide for the Seriously Ill” — a project by the ABA Commission on Law and Aging commissioned by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) — was designed for both the seriously ill individual and those caring for someone who is seriously ill.

The guide explains “Seven Key Steps” in a brief, clear way while offering additional tips and resources for readers looking for more detailed information and guidance.

“‘The Legal Guide for the Seriously Ill’ is a great resource for anyone facing a serious illness,” noted ABA president Carolyn B. Lamm. “The book provides critical tools that help readers understand their options, make informed decisions and minimize some of the anxiety they may be feeling about their financial and legal affairs at this stage of life.”

Development of the new guide was prompted by current societal issues and concerns facing many Americans, such as paying for health care, managing health and personal decisions, and patient rights.

“The Legal Guide for the Seriously Ill” also explores recent legislative and regulatory changes to give users a thorough understanding of where they stand when making important decisions.

The guide is expected to fill an important gap in resources for many Americans.

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