The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

If you’ve got a health emergency who should medical or other health-care personnel notify?  Sound simple?  Not so fast.  A recent study showed that when patients in an emergency room were asked for their emergency contact information they thought it referred to the person they wanted to make medical decisions for them – the person listed in a legal document known as an advanced healthcare directive, or living will.

The answer to the question about emergency contact information refers to a spouse, member of your family, friend, or neighbor who can help you out if you need it.  But the person to whom you entrust medical decisions if you cannot make them on your own is a very different thing.

According to MedicineNet, the study by Detroit’s Henry Ford Hospital showed that doctors and other healthcare providers and patients were not using the same terminology.

“The fact that doctors routinely ask their patients for emergency contact information without explaining what responsibilities this person has could help explain this common misconception. The study authors suggested that doctors could inadvertently be strengthening the idea that emergency contacts have more importance than the medical decision maker listed in an advance directive.”

The study not only shows the importance of explaining the nature of and need for an advanced healthcare directive, but also the need for more precised terms and better communication between doctors and their patients.

Photo: via Flickr

 

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Lara Trump

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Guillermo Garcia, a soccer coach, was fundraising for his daughter's soccer team outside of an El Paso, Texas, Walmart on August 3, 2019 when a white supremacist opened fire, killing him and 22 others in what The New York Times called "the deadliest anti-Latino attack in modern American history." El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen told The Dallas Morning News that Patrick Crusius, who was 21 years old at the time, purchased a 7.62 mm caliber gun and drove some 10 hours west from Allen, Texas, to carry out the massacre.

Keep reading... Show less

Close