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Featured In The New York Times- The Right Paperwork for Your End-of-Life Wishes

Today, MedicAlert Foundation received a voluntary mention in a New York Times piece written by Dr. Jessica Nutik Zitter, an attending physician at Highland Hospital in Oakland, Ca. Dr Zitter is board- certified in both critical care and palliative care medicine.

She tells the story of her 86-year-old patient being placed on full life support. Upon the paramedics’ arrival, his wife was too panic-stricken to relay the critical information of her husband’s end-of-life wishes- that he no longer wanted to be hospitalized, or held captive by machines keeping him alive.

With a distraught wife and his daughters in denial over their father’s wishes, Jessica Nutik Zitter talks about the importance of obtaining the right paperwork for your end-of-life wishes.

She states, “A Polst summarizes a doctor’s specifications for the use of specific treatments like breathing machines, chest compressions and electric shocks to the heart. It is not open to negotiation or pondering. (Even better, by the way, is a MedicAlert “Do Not Resuscitate” bracelet.) It is a blunt, clear instruction to the E.M.T.s and all of those who come after them. If the boxes “Do Not Attempt Resuscitation/D.N.R.” and “Comfort-Focused Treatment” are checked, emergency personnel have a clear directive to allow a natural death, using whatever means necessary to keep the patient comfortable.”

When these wishes are made known, patients are protected from the type of death they fear most, and the burden on loved ones is alleviated. Learn more about how MedicAlert can help make your Advance Directives immediately known in an emergency.

Continue reading more on The New York Times article by clicking here.

MedicAlert Team Member