Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fewer African Americans Plan for End-of-Life Care - AARP Bulletin

Newt Gingrich, Advance Directive AdvocateImage by Mike Licht, via Flickr
by: Cynthia Ramnarace | from: AARP Bulletin

Older African Americans are less likely to have a plan for their end-of-life care than their white counterparts, a discrepancy that leaves blacks with less control over their final health care choices.

In the first national analysis of racial discrepancies in end-of-life planning, the National Center for Health Statistics reported Jan. 6 that African Americans in home health care and nursing homes were half as likely as whites to have an advance directive such as a living will or a do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order.

Experts say this disparity means African Americans are more likely to endure unwanted medical procedures and experience unnecessary pain and family strife.

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