Last Tuesday I attended a lecture at the QUT on Advance Care Planning. The lecture was presented by Dr. Chris Shanley, from the Aged Care Research Unit, Liverpool Hospital and Dr. Jeff Rowland, Department of Internal Medicine, Prince Charles Hospital. The lecture was called: 'Advance Care Planning: Preparing for a Time of Reduced Decisional Capacity.'
As the title indicates ACP enables a person to leave a 'living will' document (Advance Care Directives) indicating their wishes for their end-of-life care, should they be unable to do so at a later time, due to
injury, accident or dementia. ACP is not only for people with terminal illnesses or dementia, it is for everybody.
The talk proceeded with an overview of the QCS (Queensland Clinical Senate) last meeting where the document 'Connecting Clinicians to Improve Care' was endorsed. The document recommended, among other things, the introduction of standard ACP documentation, a campaign of awareness, a national framework for Advance Care Directives, a mandate that all hospital patients be given the option to complete an ACP before entering into residential care.
An Advance Care Directive document can prevent or diminish emotional suffering brought by unwanted medical interventions and/or disagreement between members of family trying to do their best for their loved ones.
Further, a new website will be announced soon; START2TALK will be promoted nationally through a social media campaign. Dr. Chris Shanley is leading the launch of the new site which will provide consumer friendly information to the public.
The lecture was excellent. It enabled me to refresh my knowledge on the subject. It highlighted the importance of planning ahead.
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