Recently there has been talk about the benefit of advance care planning. This is an issue which resurfaces from time to time, as is evident in recent New England Journal of Medicine articles and editorials (April 2010). It has also resurfaced in Canada in a recent document titled Advance Care Planning in Canada: National Framework for Consultation (Health Canada 2010). This document acknowledges that many of us believe in the value of advance directives, finding "that most of the general public (60–90%) is supportive of advance care planning. However, only 10–20% of the public in the US, Canada and Australia have completed an advance care plan of any kind" (Health Canada 2010: 6). In Muriel R. Gillick's editorial in the New England Journal Medicine, she strongly makes the point that few people complete advance directives and further states that "directives have been a resounding failure" (Gillick 2010: 1239). These statements, although not exhaustive on the subject, show that we have a problem translating the support for advance directives into actual plans.
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