Survey Shows Disconnect on End-of-Life Healthcare

Very few Californians have talked to their doctors about their end-of-life health care despite a desire to do so, according to a poll that revealed a wide disparity between how people want their final days to be handled and what they've done to ensure it.

The survey, released today by the California HealthCare Foundation, found that two-thirds of Californians said they would prefer a natural death if severely ill and just 7 percent wanted all possible care to prolong their lives.

And it also showed broad public support for reimbursing physicians who take the time to talk to them about their end-of-life options, the very issue that sparked the infamous "death panel" debate in 2009 over President Obama's federal health care legislation.

Above all, results revealed a glaring need for doctors to talk to their patients about their options, and for people in general to make their wishes known to those who will have to make decisions about their care.

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Source: San Francisco Chronicle