Know Your Rights: In Massachusetts, Patients Must Be Informed of End-of-Life Care Options

As of December 19, 2014, new statewide regulations now require all Massachusetts licensed hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities to inform adults with serious advancing illnesses about the full range of end-of-life care options, including advanced care planning, palliative care and hospice care.

This requirement is a major milestone in the effort to ensure that patients can make informed choices about their care. For Massachusetts adults, their health care agents and guardians, the Commonwealth’s new regulations strengthen and protect every adult’s rights to receive comprehensive information about their medical condition and treatment options—and to choose the kind of care they want.

The new regulations also help doctors and care providers work in partnership with patients to understand their care choices and match the best possible care to a patient’s goals, values and choices.

The Department of Public Health has created an informative brochure, Know Your Choices: A Guide for Patients with Serious Advancing Illness, with helpful information on advance care planning palliative care and MOLST (Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment). Download your free PDF copy here. You’ll find the brochure translated into nine different languages here.

For more on the new regulations, visit Honoring Choices Massachusetts. Deborah Fins Associates is a community partner of Honoring Choices.

For related blog posts about end-of-life care, see:

President of Deborah Fins Associates, PC, since 1995, Deborah Liss Fins is a licensed independent clinical social worker and certified geriatric care manager. Drawing on more than 30 years of professional experience in geriatric care management, DFA offers comprehensive assessments and planning, guidance in selecting appropriate care, help identifying resources for financial support and professional consulting. Please contact us to set up a complimentary initial telephone consultation.

For more on coping with aging, follow us on Twitter: @DeborahFinsGCM.

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