A Town Where 96% of the Population Have Planned for Their Deaths
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In La Crosse, Wisconsin, talking about death is commonplace. In fact, 96% of people who die in La Crosse have an advance directive, which dictates their wishes regarding medical care should they be unable to talk to their doctor. This is so extraordinary that it caught the attention of NPR and was featured on CBS Sunday Morning. This unprecedented preparedness of an entire town is all because one guy--Bud Hammes--witnesses daily the excruciating pain families go through when they have a loved one on life support and they never discussed their wishes. Hammes is a medical ethicist at Gundersen Health System, and frequently called on to council families in situations where the patient is incapacitated. Statistics show that even among severely or terminally ill patients, fewer than 50% have an advance directive in their medical records. Bud Hammes is hoping his movement goes national, so take his advice and pass it on. In addition to saving your families grief, an advance directive can also save your estate money. Naturally, stopping treatment costs less than continuing it, and La Crosse has the lowest healthcare costs for end-of-life patients than anyplace in the country. Source: NPR

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