A recent article in The Wall Street Journal discussed how and why doctors die differently than most of their patients. Although the article is generally interesting, there was one statistic that caught our attention: a survey of doctors showed that 64% of them had planned for potential incapacity by executing an advanced directive. This figure is remarkable because, in general, only 20% of Americans have advanced directives.
Advanced directives are documents that provide instructions for how you would like medical decisions to be made if you are unable to make them yourself. These documents are a way to plan for future incapacity, whether it be a temporary coma or terminal condition.
Doctors encounter end-of-life conditions and terminal illness more often than the average person. They also have significantly more knowledge about the side effects and effectiveness of available treatments. According to the article, that is why doctors often decline medical procedures in favor of quality of life. We think that it also explains why so many of them plan for incapacity better than the rest of us.
Please feel free to contact us for more information about advanced directives and planning for incapacity.
If you are interested in reading the full article, you can find it here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203918304577243321242833962.html?KEYWORDS=why+doctors+die