Covid Reminds Us to Provide Advance Care Planning to All
Received Date:April 12, 2021; Published Date:July 09, 2021
To state that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted healthcare, is perhaps the biggest understatement of 2021. One overlooked positive outcome from this pandemic, is a renewed realization of how important advance care planning (ACP) is for everyone, not just the terminally ill. Prior to COVID-19, when healthcare providers were faced with an unexpected pending, death and no official end of life instructions, loved ones and family meet for intimate, small room discussions on the likely wishes of the patient. “Do you think your loved one would want to be intubated?” In this pandemic, many unexpectedly, young patients face crucial healthcare decisions and do not have an advance directive. The consultations with family now occur by phone, a method that is far from ideal for such an emotionally difficult discussion. With restrictions to visitors and efforts to reduce transmission, many nurses and physicians emotionally watch patients die quickly and had to make assumptions about end of life wishes or ask the patient in the middle of crisis, some very hard questions that should require significant thought. COVID-19 is the Terry Schiavo of this decade.