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I read with interest the recent pieces about end-of-life decision-making and unnecessary medical treatment for individuals at the end of their lives. The importance of advance directives cannot be overemphasized As elder law attorneys, we know the importance of a “good death” that is consistent with the wishes of the patient.

Unnecessary medical procedures that can prolong pain and suffering, and are inconsistent with the patient’s wishes, are preventable. The appropriate way to prevent these outcomes is to execute advanced directives including a designation of a health care surrogate and a living will.

These documents are required to be offered at every medical facility and also are available free on the Florida Bar website and most elder law attorney’s websites.

If you want a good death for yourself, you need advance directives. If you want a good death for your loved ones, encourage them to speak to you about their wishes and execute advance directives.

Shannon M. Miller,
Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys

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