There is also some evidence that consultations may have a cost-saving impact. When you give seniors comprehensive information about their care options as they approach the end of life, many choose care that will improve the quality of remaining life, rather than more aggressive treatments that may extend life but reduce its quality and comfort. Such advance care planning consultations are intensely personal and must be made only after a patient is fully advised of the options.The American Bar Association has actively encouraged all adults to engage in health care advance planning for more than 25 years. This proposal, if kept alive in any final version of health care reform, significantly moves patient care in that direction. It deserves the support of anyone who wants patients’ voices to be well-informed, heard and honored.Carolyn B. Lamm is president of the American Bar Association.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.