Oct 9 2014

Grey's Anatomy Makes the Case for Advance Care Planning

This week’s Grey’s Anatomy episode raises the issue of why communicating one’s advance care planning wishes with family is so critical. The storyline was based around Marjorie, who received medical care she didn’t want – all because of a missing signature on a medical form. Worse still, her daughter Jeannie is part of the confusion. She fights against her mother’s wishes, and out of fear, refuses to listen to her mother.

Advance directives help people get their voices heard, but let’s be clear, people have to convey their voices clearly! Even if you can’t imagine every scenario (and who really can?), it is important to make sure your family and future doctors and nurses understand your values and goals – what is important to you. Then, they can design a treatment plan that meets those goals. 

At MyDirectives, we’ve heard from consumers around-the-world who’ve used our system to create advance care plans that reflect their wants and needs. We encourage people to use video messages, photographs, audio files and open-ended text boxes to be clear about their thoughts. Whether you want more treatment or less, or to attempt various options for a period of time or indefinitely, we believe your voice is just that: YOURS! The more the care you get is along the lines of the care you want, the more in control you’ll feel and, we hope, you’ll heal faster and get discharged sooner. Need to update your wishes? No problem. Just log in and update your thoughts at any time.

In emergencies, the interactions between a patient and doctor, or a doctor and family can be raw and painful. The Grey’s Anatomy episode illustrates how having a discussion about your medical wishes ahead of time, before crisis hits, avoids the far more painful alternative. This previous Grey’s episode shows the value in using MyDirectives to name your healthcare agents too – the people legally allowed to speak for you in a healthcare crisis if you can’t. 

We applaud the writers of Grey’s for facing these tough issues not with despair, but by showcasing innovations, such as our, that give people a voice. 


Advance Care Planning Advance Directives Advance Medical Directives DNR Do Not Resuscitate Grey's Anatomy

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  1. M. Jane Markley posted at Oct 10 2014 05:23 PM
    Excellent example of the importance of good advance care planning so that the patient gets to chose what they want.
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