Health Care Decision Making

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Geriatric Care Managers … coordinating services to optimize health and quality of life.

The National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers (NAPGCM) is an organization of practitioners whose goal is the advancement of expert assistance to older adults and their families. NAPGCM is committed to maximizing the independence and autonomy of elders and strives to ensure the highest quality and most cost-effective health and human services. Members help older persons and their families cope with the challenges of aging, through education, advocacy, counseling, and service delivery.

Health Care Decision Making

The NAPGCM “Code of Ethics” states that all NAPGCM members respect our client’s right to self-determination. It is essential that health care decisions made by competent individuals be honored by health care professionals. NAPGCM supports a system in which decisions about sustaining, withdrawing or withholding medical treatment are made on an individualized basis and involve all members of the caregiving team including medical providers, family members and mental health professionals.

I. NAPGCM supports:

  1. The right of competent individuals to make their own health care decisions. Health care professionals must observe such right by honoring advance directives.
  2. The early education of the public regarding health care decision-making issues, and the creation of partnerships with allied organizations in order to accomplish this goal.
  3. Efforts to adequately address the needs for competent pain management of all chronically or acutely ill individuals and to remove any threat of adverse action for competent pain management.

II. NAPGCM advocates: the document designed to appoint an agent to make health care decisions in the event of incapacity of the individual be readily available, easily understandable and simple to complete with instructions attached.

III. NAPGCM encourages: the development and use of ethics committees by all health care organizations including hospitals, nursing homes, RCFEs, assisted living facilities and home and community based services. NAPGCM encourages partnering to develop model materials that would be made available to these organizations’ ethics committees. In this regard, NAPGCM may network with other organizations.

Resolution Approved by the NAPGCM Board of Directors October 21, 1999.
Position Paper was reviewed, updated and approved by the Public Policy Committee on December 17, 2007.
Position Paper was reviewed, updated and approved by the Board of Directors on February 2, 2008.