Mexico Health & Evironmental News

Puerto Vallarta • Riviera Nayarit 

  News &
Issues &
Business &
Health &
Lifestyle &
Travel &
Science &

‘Letter Project’ Makes End-of-Life Wishes Clear to Their Doctors and Their Family

Beth Baker - New America Media
go to original
September 18, 2017

The Letter Project is a simple and easy to use form that patients can use to write to their doctors and their family about what matters most to them at life's end. (Letter Project)

“I do not want to be a burden on my family… I would prefer to be placed in a nursing home or whatever kind of facility and have my family come visit.”

“I do not want to be on a breathing machine. I do not want to be artificially fed. I would like to be pain free. I would like to be at home. Do I want hospice care? Absolutely.”

“I want to die gently and naturally, and I want to die at home with hospice and of course my family.”

These are from a few of the thousands of letters that were written by participants in The Letter Project, developed by researchers at Stanford University to give people a simple way to express their end-of-life preferences.

The project addresses a critical need. According to the 2014 Institute of Medicine report, Dying in America — Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life, 70 percent of older adults are too ill to make decisions about their treatment when they are nearing the end of their lives.

Given that, the importance of having an easily accessible written record of patient wishes is key to improving the quality of end-of-life care. Yet despite decades of public and physician education and outreach, most Americans still do not have advance health directives and of those who do, the documents “rarely affect treatment decisions,” the report noted.

Advance directives, which vary slightly by state, include a living will, specifying the treatment you want at the end of life, and a health care power of attorney, designating who will make decisions for you if you are unable to do so. They may also include a physician-signed “do not resuscitate” or “allow natural death” and other orders you request.

A July study in the journal Health Affairs found that only 37 percent of U.S. adults had an advance directive. Without one, people are more vulnerable to ending their lives in institutional settings, attached to machines.

“Many patients tell me this is not what they want,” said V.J. Periyakoil, MD, a geriatric doctor and palliative care specialist who founded The Letter Project. “There’s a high emotional toll and a high fiscal toll on the family. If it’s going to help your loved one, fine, but sometimes the only one it’s helping is the hospital who is charging really high fees.”

Read the rest at New America Media

  Check out Asilo San Juan Diego Senior Citizen Home

We invite you to add your charity or supporting organizations' news stories and coming events to PVAngels so we can share them with the world. Do it now!

CHARITY ALERT Vallarta Botanical Garden Needs Your Help

TripAdvisor singled out the Botanical Garden for removal and placed us on our own page in Cabo Corrientes.

Please write and ask TripAdvisor why all other Cabo Corrientes attractions are still on the Puerto Vallarta page while only the Garden was removed.

Click here to see all the details

Meet the Charities

Community Services


Animals & Wildlife

Health Care

Youth & Family


Culture & Recreation

Special Interests

How You Can Help

Use Your Powers for Good

Add Your Favorite Charity

Save a Life - Give Blood


Partners for Change

Meet the Partners

Become a Partner for Change

Stay Connected

Find PVAngels on Facebook Follow PVAngels on Twitter Sign up PVAngels Newsletter RSS Feeds on PVAngels


About PVAngels

Add Your Charity

Add Your News & Events

Locate Yourself on Our Maps

Jobs - Join PVAngels Team

About Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Local News

Local Event Calendar

Puerto Vallarta Videos

Puerto Vallarta Photos

Historic Puerto Vallarta

Local Area Maps

Important Phone Numbers

Craig's List in Puerto Vallarta

News Around Mexico

Mexico Issues & Opinions

Mexico Business News

Mexico Evironmental News

Lifestyle & Entertainment

Mexico Travel & Outdoors

Science & Technology News

Mexico News & Travel Videos

FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance a more in-depth understanding of critical issues facing the world. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

m3 • local actions from global awareness