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Doctors Choose Advance Directives More Often Than Their Patients

Anyone who has thought about creating an estate plan in Greensboro, North Carolina has probably considered creating a living will or other type of advance medical directive. Living wills are very different than last wills and testaments, and address your medical wishes not your property choices. Yet only about 20% of the general population has taken the required steps to create medical directives that would ensure their medical wishes are followed should they become incapacitated.

This number is particularly low especially when compared to the number of physicians who have created a living will or healthcare proxy. According to one study, about 64% of American doctors have some kind of advance medical directive.

Though it is not clear exactly what these directives choose, most doctors have first-hand experience with the limitations of medicine. Because of this, it is believed that their medical directives state their preference for not receiving heroic measures should they succumb to a fatal or terminal illness and face the prospect of, for example, receiving CPR after their heart stops.

This difference can be explained, at least in part, when you realize how different CPR is portrayed in movies and films versus its reality. For example, one study showed that people who receive CPR in television and movies will go on to survive more than 70% of the time.

Contrast this with the reality that CPR recipients only go on to live a month or more 8% of the time. Of that incredibly small number only 3% then go on to live a regular life.

What this means for doctors is that they have no illusions about the prospects of surviving a terminal illness, while the average person probably bases his or her information on the false reality seen in popular television and films.

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