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Thursday, December 5, 2019

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Removing Barriers for Timely, Equitable Care

Important Update: Health Care Proxy; MOLST; Guardians

Given our new reality of stay at home advisory orders, restricted visitation at care facilities, and the urgency in providing timely advocacy in the face of COVID-19, we asked:
What are the barriers preventing adults from completing planning documents?
How do we empower Health Care Agents, Guardians and families to advocate for the best possible care?

Physicians report for high risk COVID-19 patients, it can often be a matter of a few hours, or at most a few days, in which physicians and patients, Health Care Agents and Guardians must make critical care decisions. Urgent remedies are needed to ensure everyone can complete their planning documents and receive timely, equitable care that honors their goals and choices.

Honoring Choices in collaboration with members of the MA MOLST-Health Care Planning  Advisory Group, the Guardianship-MOLST Advisory Group, and Lachlan Forrow, MD, have sent letters to the State and the Court to respectfully ask they consider these urgent remedies:

1. Health Care Proxy: Remove barriers of in-person witnesses.
  • Allow audio-video and telephonic witnessing to complete a proxy. State Request in Process.
2. MOLST form: Remove barriers of in-person written consent.
  • Allow verbal consent, where written is not possible, to complete and revise a MOLST, Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment, with your clinician. State Request APPROVED!
3. Guardians: Enable Guardians to make timely care decisions and avoid unnecessary harm and suffering.
  • Allow Guardians to make reasonable decisions and sign a MOLST form in consultation with physicians, where a timely judicial hearing is not possible. Court Request in Process.
We are immensely grateful to our State and Court leadership for all they are doing to keep us safe, healthy and protect our civil rights. We appreciate their consideration of our proposed remedies to find solutions for all adults being cared for at home, in hospitals, long-term care facilities and hospice.

Thanks to the Honoring Choices Consumers and Care Provider Partner Network for alerting us to the barriers and suggesting timely remedies!

Tell us your experience.  Let's keep finding solutions together. Email Ellen,
Read the Letters to the State and Court here

It's Working. Let's Plan in Place!

Now is the time to help EVERYONE make a plan. It's easy to do!

We've heard from so many of you who have shared the Getting Started Tool Kit and translated documents with grateful family members, neighbors, co-workers and young adults,18 years old and older. The virus is effecting every age group. Let's keep spreading the word to ensure everyone has a plan.

The Plan in Place webpage has everything you need. Our Tools & Resources section is growing as our Partners share materials. You can:
  • Send the Getting Started Tool Kit to family, friends & co-workers. 
  • Provide a free translated Health Care Proxy and Personal Directives;
  • Download NEW tool kits from Ariadne Labs, MA Coalition for Serious Illness Care, The Conversation Project and more;
  •  See Resources & Information: i.e. helping with food insecurity and more. 
We are concerned that Black, Latino, Asian and immigrant communities are at higher risk for contracting coronavirus.  The COVID-19 Health Inequities Task Force has been created to better understand current inequities in data analysis, testing sites, and access to health care services Learn more. 

Share Your Stories. Tell us your experience and how you are helping your community. We'll post it on the Plan in Place webpage. We've heard from:
  • Community Centers ... helping with Meals on Wheels and Home Care.
  • A Surgeon ... contributing his time in the Emergency Room as a bi-lingual translator to talk with Spanish speaking patients;
  • Nurses & Care Managers ... calling their high-risk patients to have proactive planning conversations and review planning documents;
  • Volunteer from a local Food Bank ... telling us about the significant rise in demand, and how she is so grateful for needed financial donations.
Email Lisa Leydon,  to share your tools, information and stories! Thanks.
Free Plan in Place tools here
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