“Elderly book end-of-life talks once labeled ‘death panels'” – AP article

“HACKENSACK, N.J. (AP) — The doctor got right down to business after Herbert Diamond bounded in. A single green form before her, she had some questions for the agile 88-year-old: about comas and ventilators, about feeding tubes and CPR, about intense and irreversible suffering.

“‘You want treatments as long as you are going to have good quality of life?’ Dr. Manisha Parulekar asked. The retired accountant nodded.

“‘And at that point,’ she continued, ‘you would like to focus more on comfort, right?’ There was no hesitation before his soft-spoken reply: ‘Right.’

eol conversationIn this Wednesday, April 13, 2016 photo, Herbert Diamond, left, 88, of Fort Lee, N.J., meets with Dr. Manisha Parulekar about his end of life preferences at the Hackensack Medical Center in Hackensack, N.J. Some doctors had already incorporated end-of-life planning into regular visits, and certain private insurers began offering reimbursement for it before Medicare announced its change. But because Medicare is the single largest payer of health care in the U.S., this could stand to be one of the most significant developments in end-of-life care ever seen in the country. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

“Scenes like this have been spreading across the U.S. in the months since Medicare started paying for conversations on end-of-life planning. Seven years after that very idea spurred fears of ‘death panels,’ supporters hope lingering doubts will fade.”

Continue reading this Associated Press article in its entirety, click here.

In a related vein, the Pennsylvania Link to Aging and Disability Resources will hold a “Starting the conversations about death at the Manheim Township Public Library” on June 4. The FREE event, called a Death Café across the world, allows people to come together in an informal setting to talk about death while enjoying the company of others and snacking on desserts, coffee and tea.

The people who attended Lebanon County’s first Death Café last Saturday said they want to have another one.

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