Nearly 1 in 3 Medicare patients undergo an operation in their final year of life.
“Maxine Stanich, at age 87, had signed a ‘do not resuscitate’ directive, ordering doctors to not revive her should her heart stop, but doctors gave her a defibrillator anyway. (Photo courtesy of Susan Giaquinto)”
by Liz Szabo
“At 87, Maxine Stanich cared more about improving the quality of her life than prolonging it.
“She suffered from a long list of health problems, including heart failure and chronic lung disease that could leave her gasping for breath.
“When her time came, she wanted to die a natural death, Stanich told her daughter, and signed a ‘do not resuscitate’ directive, or DNR, ordering doctors not to revive her should her heart stop.
“Yet a trip to a San Francisco emergency room for shortness of breath in 2008 led Stanich to get a defibrillator implanted in her chest — a medical device to keep her alive by delivering a powerful shock. At the time, Stanich didn’t fully grasp what she had agreed to, even though she signed a document granting permission for the procedure, said her daughter, Susan Giaquinto.”
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