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Congress

Doctor: Videos Key To Better End-Of-Life Medical Care

March 11, 2012

AUSTIN, Texas - Could video recordings finally let fears of "death panels" rest in peace?

At least some doctors think so.

On Monday doctors at the Austin's South by Southwest conference argued that recorded advanced directives (often called living wills) could clear up many of the misgivings people have about end-of-life medical care.

"With death panels, the debate was framed as doctors pulling the plug on grandma," said Angelo Volandes, a doctor and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. "With videos, it shows that it's grandma telling doctors not to put the plug in."

Volandes said videos, as opposed to traditional paper documents, would give doctors a much clearer picture of what a patient intended.

"What does the patient want? Isn't that what's this all about?" he asked.

The issue has cooled considerably since 2009 when former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin first accused health care reformers of seeking to create committees that would decide if people would receive medical care.

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