Coupeville WhidbeyHealth meeting to address life-and-death decisions

Too many people leave too many painful life and death decisions to someone else, making an already stressful situation worse for family and friends.

How to go about making plans for end-of-life medical care, known as advance care planning or advance directives, will be addressed at the next WhidbeyHealth Town Hall Talks, Thursday, Jan. 19, 5 to 6:30 p.m., at Coupeville Library, 788 N.W. Alexander Street.

Dr. Jerry Sanders, WhidbeyHealth Hospice Care Medical Director, will discuss options for getting your end-of-life options known should you become incapacitated.

Choices include signing written documents or appointing a surrogate decision-maker who knows and understands your wishes.

While most people say they would prefer to die at home, only about one-third of adults have advance directives, studies show. In 2016, Medicare began covering patient-doctor advance care planning discussions as a separate and billable service.

WhidbeyHealth CEO Geri Forbes and hospital commissioners will also be at the public meeting to provide updates on new doctors, services and the hospital building project.

The community is encouraged to attend and voice “impressions, suggestions, kudos and concerns,” said Patricia Duff of WhidbeyHealth community relations and marketing. Light refreshments will be provided.