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Alaska State Representative Bruce Weyhrauch Information

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Health Care Services Directives
Sponsor Statement for HB 25
Alaska State Legislature
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Updated:
January 19, 2003
Linda Sylvester
465-4963







"Five Wishes speaks to people in their own language, helping families talk with their physician about a subject that is often avoided as being too hard to face."
- Rep. Weyhrauch

 

An Act relating to health care decisions, including do not resuscitate orders and the donation of body parts, and to powers of attorney relating to health care, including the donation of body parts; and providing for an effective date.

HB 25 offers a "comprehensive simplified" alternative to the power of attorney enacted in Alaska in 1996 relating to health care services and directives for the terminally ill patient. That was not an oxymoron. The legislation is comprehensive because it speaks to the details and instructions that patients put in place regarding their care should they become incapacitated. It is simple in that the directives speak simply to the patient's wishes (the legislation is known nationally as the Five-Wishes) as follows:

My Wish for:

  1. The person I want to make care decisions for me when I can't
  2. The kind of medical treatment I want or don't want
  3. How comfortable I want to be
  4. How I want other people to treat me
  5. What I want my loved ones to know

The Five Wishes contained in this bill, will produce a document that helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. It is unique among all other living will and health agent forms because it looks to all of a person's needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. Five Wishes also encourages discussing your wishes with your family and physician.

Five Wishes is changing the way America talks about and plans for care at the end of life. Nearly one million copies of the document are circulating throughout the nation, and more than 1,400 organizations are distributing this revolutionary document, including churches, synagogues, hospices, hospitals, doctor and law offices, and social service agencies.

Five Wishes speaks to people in their own language, helping families talk with their physician about a subject that is often avoided as being too hard to face.

Last Updated: 01/19/2003

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