All too often, lawyers and medical professionals view advance care planning through different lenses. The Commission’s new publication, Advance Directives: Counseling Guide for Lawyers, is designed to help lawyers and medical professionals to coordinate their guidance so that end-of-life health decisions are effectively implemented.
The guide presents a set of eight foundational principles that help to bridge the chasm between lawyers and doctors. At its heart is a checklist for lawyers to use in guiding clients through the process of advanced care planning.
The guide also offers self-help tools lawyers can provide to clients to enable them to understand and plan for the kinds of decisions they will face and engage all those who may participate in future health care decisions. Those tools include websites and other online resources, starter kits, card games, videos, work books and conversation starters in multiple languages.
Advance Directives: Counseling Guide for Lawyers is a collaborative work by a team of organizations, lawyers and medical experts from the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, the University of California San Francisco Medical School and the UC/Hastings Consortium on Law, Science & Health Policy.
The project was funded by The John A. Hartford Foundation with support from The Borchard Foundation Center on Law and Aging.