Tuesday, May 3, 2005
There's no mention of this yet on the DHHS newsies' web page, but the AP reported today that Secretary Leavitt issued a statement Monday encouraging Medicare enrollees to have living wills. A response to the Terri Schiavo case? Maybe. A renewed emphasis on the value of promoting patient autonomy? Possibly. But Mr. Leavitt offered another justification in a Q&A session with hospital administrators: Encouraging new Medicare participants to write living wills could end up saving the government large amounts of money.
In related news, the American Hospital Association's web site now links to advance directive forms from every state. The page is entitled "Put It In Writing" and is maintained by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization. [tm]