Caring Advocates ...
Caring Advocates is a group of collaborating professionals drawn from such fields as clinical medicine, psychiatry and psychology, law, social work, pastoral counseling, nursing, and bio-ethics. They offer their combined knowledge, training, and experience in the areas of health-care law and end-of-life ethics particularly at three critical times:
A) When individuals and families are discussing, creating, and revising their Advance Directives, they can offer advice;
B) When the designated proxy must face challenging end-of-life decisions for their loved one who is persistently unconscious or terminally ill, they can provide second opinions, consultations, and support; and
C) When clients need proxies to make their medical decisions in the future, they can now designate individuals from the Caring Advocates staff in their Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. There are two main reasons to do this: 1) To be sure that a proxy will definitely be available even if all the clients’ relatives and close friends do not survive them, happen not to be available, or are not well themselves. Clients may designate Caring Advocates as alternate proxies of lower priority, with relatives and close friends listed first. 2) To feel more confident that non-related professionals will not be too emotional to make the challenging decisions clients want, will be well-informed about current health care law and end-of-life ethics, will be effectively articulate and strong enough to argue with those in power so that the clients’ last wishes will be honored, in the event their decisions are challenged.
In addition, at time “A,” Caring Advocates professionals can be asked to evaluate and provide a declaration of a patient’s decision-making capacity; and at time “B,” they can be asked to evaluate family members and cargivers on the issue of possible undue influence, and to offer an opinion on the proxy’s decision-making capacity and the proxy’s behavior with respect to the patient’s BEST INTEREST.
Caring Advocates Project is the 501(c)(3) non-profit sister organization that strives to make all the services of Caring Advocates available to those who cannot otherwise afford them. Its mission also includes educating the public and members of relevant professions on why Advance Directives must include clear and convincing documentation to empower their proxies, and why proxies should be granted the ultimate authority to make medical decisions, taking precedence over any instructions in Living Wills. The Caring Advocates Project is closely affiliated with the Project for Peaceful Transitions, whose mission is to educate the public and professionals on how to make the transition of dying more peaceful for both terminal patients and their families. Staff members of both projects can provide continuing education programs to professionals, and lectures and workshops to lay audiences. The Projects can also distribute books, newsletters, and audios – directly and via the Internet.
Contact information: 1-800-64 PEACE (647-3223) or 760-431-2233; P.O. 130129; Carlsbad, CA 92009; www.thebestgoodbye.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or your organization would like to contribute to the Caring Advocates Project or the Project for Peaceful Transitions, you may either visit their website, or call our office to discuss other means of contributing.