Barbara Bush Case May Spark Changes in End of Life Care

The decision by the Bush family to be open and forthright about the end-of-life care for former First Lady Barbara Bush is winning praise from groups that work with seniors and their kids, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"I hope it will be an inspiration to other people to have those discussions with their family about what's best," Nancy Lamar with the Texas Non Profit Hospice Alliance tells Newsradio 1200 WOAI

.At age 92, Bush died this week at home, surrounded by family.  She suffered from congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to a family spokesman.  Before her death, the Bush family announced that they would be seeking “comfort care” instead of continuing treatment in a hospital to extend her life.  That has sparked a debate on what it means to set end-of-life preferences

Lamar, who works at Hospice of East Texas, says a growing number of seniors are deciding to go that route.  She's glad that so-called "comfort care" is now being debated in the public sphere, so that other people can consider it

 "To govern what happens at the end of life, according to their own wishes, can be a great blessing," she explains.

Bush was married to former President George H.W. Bush for 73 years, making them the longest married presidential couple. The 92-year-old is being referred to as everybody's grandmother - due in part to her famed gray hair.

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