Fort Worth-based North Texas Specialty Physicians (NTSP), an independent physicians’ association, is sponsoring the launch of a campaign encourages frank discussions about end-of-life-health care decisions.
Launched under the banner of the North Texas Respecting Choices (NTRC) initiative, the #TalktheTalk campaign encourages North Texas families and physicians to engage in conversations to clarify the many complex issues that arise as patients near the end of life. NTSP launched the NTRC initiative in 2014, and the #TalktheTalk campaign is the latest effort to promote the importance of end-of-life conversations.
The #TalktheTalk campaign seeks to inspire conversations about individual preferences regarding future care. The #TalktheTalk objective is to engage the general public in meaningful discussions about what a family wants (whether young, middle-aged, or older) if at some point in life a person cannot make important decisions about health care options.
The #TalktheTalk campaign is similar to other initiatives that have generated positive results in other cities. According to a Planet Money news article, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, more than 96 percent of the people who die in this small, Midwestern city have an advance directive or similar document in place as a result of efforts to promote the relevance of these documents.
Dr. Stuart Pickell, Medical Director of the North Texas Respecting Choices and a practicing physician with NTSP, says, “During a time of crisis, it’s sometimes physically impossible for patients to give proper guidance to the medical team, and it’s very difficult and stressful for family members to make decisions about end-of-life care. They are wrestling with their own emotions, so it’s vital to have advance directives in place. #TalktheTalk promotes opportunities to have those discussions beforehand.”
In keeping with National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16, 2016, Dr. Pickell and his staff are encouraging their patients to engage in crucial conversations with their doctors and family members about the subject of end-of-life care. He believes that helping patients to have the conversation about end-of-life care goals gives them control over some of their most important decisions.
To learn more about the #TalktheTalk campaign, go to talkthetalktoday.com. Visitors can also share thoughts and stories on this very important topic through Facebook, Twitter and other social sites.