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Presentation to Span Decades of Discussion on End-of-Life Health Care Planning

Many times, families and health care providers are faced with difficult end-of-life care decisions for their loved ones and patients. In honor of the third annual National Health Care Decisions Day on April 16, the public is invited to attend a presentation "Advance Care Planning: What Lessons Have We Learned After 20 Years" from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the MU School of Medicine's Bryant Auditorium, M105.

This nationally observed day is intended to raise awareness of advance directives – documents that tell physicians what kind of care and treatments patients would want should they become unable to make medical decisions. According to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, fewer than 50 percent of severely or terminally ill patients studied had an advance directive in their medical record.

Myra Christopher, president and CEO of the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, will be the presentation facilitator. Christopher was a contributor to the 2008 landmark report to Congress on advance directives and care planning.

Speakers include:
  • Charles Sabatino, JD, director of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging and contributor to the 2008 report on advance directives.
  • Robert Saylor, MD, physician, ethicist and director of ethics for St. John's Hospital, Springfield, Mo.
  • Steven Zweig, MD, chair of the Curtis W. and Ann H. Long Department of Family and Community Medicine at the University of Missouri, as well as Paul Revare Family Endowed Professor and director of the MU Interdisciplinary Center on Aging

On-site discussion leaders include: Clay Anderson, MD, director of the Missouri Palliative Care Program and MU medical school associate professor of hematology and oncology; Paul Tatum, MD, assistant professor of family and community medicine; Phil Peters, JD, Ruth L. Hulston Professor of Law at MU's law school; Denise Swenson, PhD, a social worker at Missouri Cancer Associates; and Julianne Hagedorn, a palliative care nurse with University Hospital.

The presentation will also be broadcast live in Marshall and Springfield, Mo. via Missouri Telehealth Network videoconferencing technology. This event is sponsored by the Missouri End of Life Coalition; the Missouri Telehealth Network; the Missouri Consortium of Health Ethics Organizations; the MU School of Medicine Office of Continuing Medical Education; the MU Sinclair School of Nursing; the University of Missouri Health System Palliative Care Committee; the Missouri Palliative Care Program; Ellis Fischel Cancer Center; and Missouri Cancer Associates.
MU Health Magazine


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