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end of life

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Today on Stateside, Detroit police have identified a person of interest in the murders of three women in the city, cases that officials believe may be connected. Plus, how one research scientist at the Wayne State University School of Nursing approaches end-of-life conversations with teens and young adults.

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

Photo of Caitlin Sall
Caitlin Sall

A diagnosis of a life-threatening illness is an enormous shock wave to any family.

But there are extra challenges involved when that diagnosis happens for a teen or young adult. While their friends are getting ready for the prom or for college, they will be going through treatment and having tough conversations with family and doctors.

flickr user Stephan Ridgway / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Let’s start with an undeniable fact: Someday, every single one of us is going to die.

Death is one thing that we all have in common, but most of us tend to have a really hard time talking about it.

According to Gail Rubin, less than a third of Americans plan for death and make their end-of-life wishes known.

More should be done to improve "end-of-life" options

Nov 18, 2015

There was a report on Michigan Radio’s Stateside program two days ago that revealed that while nine out of 10 of us want to have an end-of-life conversation with their doctors, only about one-sixth of us have actually done so.

That didn’t surprise me.

University of Michigan Medical School

No matter what your circumstances in life, there is one great and final equalizer: Every single one of us will die.

Yet it is often difficult for patients, their families and their physicians to accept the approaching end of life and to shift focus of care from curing and treating to comfort.

Shayan Sanyal / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Aging inmates are the fastest-growing population in Michigan’s prisons.

This has presented a critical challenge: how to provide end-of-life care to those inmates.

That’s where a prison hospice program called CHOICES comes into play. It stands for Choose, Health Options, Initiate Care, and Educate Self.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

There’s been a big jump in the number of elderly people making living wills and other end-of-life directives.

Dr. Maria Silveira is a University of Michigan researcher. She says between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of elderly Americans with living wills or who gave a loved one power of attorney in health matters rose from 47% to 72%.

Silveira says the change may reflect different generational attitudes.

“I think this generation of older folks, Baby Boomers in particular, are more inclined to take charge,” says Silveira.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

There’s a bill making its way through the state legislature that would require Michigan hospitals to reveal when they will withhold treatment from severely ill patients.

Many hospitals have ‘futility’ policies.   The policies outline when the hospitals will withhold treatment from a patient on the grounds that further care would be futile and would simply waste hospital resources.

The policies are mainly for internal use and not widely disclosed.

www.siumed.edu

It will soon be easier for Michigan hospitals and doctors to check to see if their patients have “advance medical directives."