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Advice Urges Wider Sharing of Heart Care Decisions

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This article was written by Associated Press writer, Marilynn Marchione, and appeared on the USAToday website.

Too often, patients with advanced heart failure don't realize what they are getting into when they agree to a treatment, and doctors assume they want everything possible done to keep them alive, says the new advice, published Monday by the American Heart Association and endorsed by other medical groups.

It calls for shared decision making when patients face a chronic condition that often proves fatal and they need to figure out what they really want for their remaining days'The goal is "not only living long, it's living well. People often make decisions about the 'long' without even considering the 'well,'" said Jessie Gruman, president of the Center for Advancing Health, a patient advocacy group. The heart association asked Gruman, who has had several cancers and a heart problem, to review the advice from a patient's perspective.

The worst thing is to have no plan or clear goals when an emergency occurs, she said.

"The person who's ill may not have particular cognitive clarity and the caregivers may be upset and exhausted. They just haven't thought it through ' they haven't had a chance to think it through. They've never done this before," Gruman said.

Read the rest of this article at USAToday.

 

More Blog Posts by Jessie Gruman

author bio

Jessie C. Gruman, PhD, was founder and president of the Center for Advancing Health from 1992 until her death in July 2014. Her experiences as a patient — having been diagnosed with five life-threatening illnesses — informed her perspective as an author, advocate and lead contributor to the Prepared Patient Blog. Her book, AfterShock, helps patients and caregivers navigate their way through the health care system following a serious or life-threatening diagnosis. The free app, AfterShock: Facing a Serious Diagnosis, offers a pocket guide based on the book. | More about Jessie Gruman


Tags for this article:
Heart Disease   Jessie Gruman   Make Good Treatment Decisions  


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