UNCA’s OLLI hosts free workshop on end-of-life medical treatment decisions

Press release from UNC Asheville: 

To help people think through end-of-life medical treatment decisions in advance, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UNC Asheville will hold a free workshop, open to everyone, from 4:30-6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, at the Reuter Center on the university campus. Assistance will be provided so that attendees can leave with legally executed, notarized advance directive documents – the Health Care Power of Attorney and Living Will.

For the first time, workshop participants also will be able to have their advance directive documents be made available electronically to any health care provider in North Carolina. Mission Health has agreed to enter the documents from the workshop into its electronic medical records system as a health information exchange item accessible to Mission staff and other hospitals and physicians across the state.

Completing advance directives helps ensure that a person’s wishes are honored regarding medical intervention at the end of life. If a person is no longer able to speak for themselves, these directives give designated loved ones the legal authority to advocate on that person’s behalf so that those wishes are honored.

At the workshop, a panel of elder care professionals will answer questions about end-of-life issues, including ethical and legal matters, the uses of advance directives, and how to communicate treatment wishes to family and medical personnel.

The panel will be chaired by Dr. David Mouw, retired from the MAHEC Family Practice Residency faculty, and workshop co-director Amy Davison. Panelists also will include Dr. Brittany Matney, MAHEC Family Practice; Dr. Ellen Kaczmarek, retired geriatrician; Dr. Heidi Knoll, Mountain Area Family Health Center; and Meridith Miller, retired geriatric health psychologist.

For more information on the workshop, including suggestions for things to do in advance, visit olliasheville.com/special- programs or call 828.251.6140.

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About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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