The Proxy Predicament: Making Medical Decisions for Others is Hard

Most of us will lose our ability to make medical decisions for ourselves as we get closer to the last phase of life. At this point, our proxy decision makers will have to make decisions for is. It is impossible for us to truly know what another person may want for themselves in terms of medical decisions. Most proxy decision makers are usually stressed to the maximum in trying to weigh the pros and cons and make decisions for the patient. This process is so much easier if every adult takes 10 minutes to complete the Letter Project form and answer a few simple questions that will clarify what they truly want for themselves. In fact, this will prevent us from burdening our family members with the stressful process of guessing what we may want and what our values and preferences for care are.

Here is what you need to do:

1. Go online to http://med.stanford.edu/letter.html and use the online form (available in many languages) to clarify what matters most to you

(or)

2. Go to the Apple Appstore (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stanf…) or Google Playstore (https://play.google.com/store/apps/de…) and download the free Stanford Letter Project App.

Invest ten minutes time in writing your letter. Do not stress your loved ones later; write your letter now so everyone knows what you want. It is free, easy and extremely important.

To read more please check out recent article Pitfalls for Proxies published by the New York Times.

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