Residents of Pacific Northwest more open to end-of-life care

Jul 29, 2011

A report says residents of the Pacific Northwest are more open to the idea of end-of-life care

A report shows voters living in the Pacific Northwest are more inclined to favor end-of-life care options for their loved ones than other Americans.

According to the survey, published by the National Journal and The Regence Foundation, 83 percent of Washington residents and 85 percent of Oregon citizens believe it's more important to make a patient's final months comfortable than it is to try to extend their life. That was compared to 71 percent for Americans as a whole, a significant reality given the complicated decisions many families face when a loved one is terminally ill.

"The Northwest is the region of the country that has grappled most directly with the complex and emotional issues surrounding care for people at the end of life," said National Journal editorial director Ronald Brownstein. "And this survey shows that most people in these states are comfortable with an approach that emphasizes not just the duration, but also the quality, of life."

Some families can tap into their life insurance policy's death benefit earlier if a loved one is terminally ill, which could provide much-needed finances for end-of-life care.
 

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