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For Immediate Release
March 29, 2006
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

CURRAN TO RELEASE GUIDANCE FOR HEALTH CARE PROXIES
Seeks to Forestall a Maryland Schiavo Case

On March 30, 2006 Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., in collaboration with the American Bar Association, will unveil two documents to help family members and friends who are making medical decisions for someone else. One is a short pamphlet entitled “Making Medical Decisions for Someone Else: A Guide for Marylanders” This guide will give key information about the role of a health care proxy in Maryland. The other is a more detailed, Web-based document, “Making Medical Decisions for Someone Else: A Maryland Handbook.” This handbook offers step-by-step explanations of how to do this critically important job well.

Attorney General Curran’s office is considered a national leader in end-of-life care policy; his leadership in this field has helped thousands of Marylanders to complete Advance Directives, which enable people to plan for medical situations when they cannot speak for themselves. In 2005, more than 120,000 Marylanders received Advance Directives from the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. The new guide and handbook, which will particularly help in situations when there is no Advance Directive, is being made available one year after the tragic death of Florida resident Teresa Schiavo. Ms. Schiavo died after a prolonged legal battle between family members over what medical decision she would have wanted them to make for her. The new guidance, which was funded by the Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation and which the American Bar Association sees as a national model, is aimed at helping families avoid this kind of dissension.

Attorney General Curran will be joined by Charles Sabatino of the American Bar Association and W. Anthony Riley, MD, Medical Director of Hospice of Baltimore and medical director of Senior Services at Greater Baltimore Medical Center. Family members who served as health care proxies for former Hospice of Baltimore patients will also be on hand.

This event will be held:
March 30, 2006 at 10 a.m.
Hospice of Baltimore and Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care
6601 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21204
For directions please visit their website www.hospiceofbaltimore.org

   

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