La Crosse is a small town in western Wisconsin, right on the Minnesota border. It has about 51,000 residents. And La Crosse has, over the past three decades, done something remarkable: nearly all its residents have a plan for how they want to die.
“One of our doctors recently told me that making a plan is just like taking blood pressure or doing allergy tests,” says Bud Hammes, a medical ethicist at Gundersen Health System, one of La Crosse’s two hospital networks. “It’s just become part of good care here.”
End-of-life care planning is not currently a routine part of medical care in the United States. Most surveys show that about a quarter of American adults have completed an advance directive, spelling out what type of treatment they would want in a medical crisis where they could no longer make their wishes known. Read the rest of the article here.