Respecting Choices

News and Media Reports

Over the past decade, numerous journalists have traveled to La Crosse, WI to learn about Respecting Choices. They provide their viewers, readers, and listeners with independent perspectives.

These news and media reports help a broader audience understand what can be achieved using the Respecting Choices approach.

Journalists and reporters may submit media inquiries using our General Contact Form. For time-sensitive requests, Contact Us.

Press Releases

Video Reports

Being Prepared for the Final Days (CBS Sunday Morning)

Helping families when it comes to end-of-life decisions for loved ones.

Dying Wishes (Arizona Public Media)

How moral distress impacts making decisions for family members and how conversation about our wishes is a crucial and helpful activity when planning for end-of-life care.

End-of-Life Lessons from the Cheapest Place to Die (Good Morning America)

How an advance directive (AD) helps patients receive the right amount of care at the right time. (Video no longer available; transcript only)

Life Panel? Death Panel? (PBS)

Two families’ perspectives as they work through the planning process with the Respecting Choices program.

Talking About Death Brings End-of-Life Benefits (NBC Nightly News Rock Center)

A couple is interviewed about their experience with advance care planning (ACP) as the husband is undergoing treatment for an incurable lung disease. Knowing he may be cured, they began creating a care plan with the help of Respecting Choices. This provided comfort to the entire family during an already difficult time.

Audio Reports

Where To Start With End-Of-Life Decisions (National Public Radio’s 1A Show)

Bud Hammes joins a panel of other speakers discussing end-of-life choices with host Joshua Johnson.

Bud Hammes on Why Talking About Death is Life-Changing (Adam Ruins Everything Episode 25)

Discusses the importance of having advance care planning (ACP) conversations and how system design along with conversations provides individuals the opportunity to have control over their end-of-life care.

How do you want to die? Write it down. (San Francisco Public Radio)

People want control of medical treatments. The advance directive (AD) allows individuals to decide what treatments to receive or avoid if they cannot voice these wishes. Terri Schiavo was in the middle of a lawsuit between her husband and parents regarding whether she should be kept alive by machines or not. If she had completed an AD, her family could have honored her wishes, instead of dividing them during such a stressful time.

The Town that Loves Death (National Public Radio: Planet Money)

National Public Radio (NPR) visits with couples in the La Crosse community who are proud to plan their end-of-life care.

Why This Wisconsin City is the Best Place to Die (National Public Radio: Health Care Innovations)

National Public Radio (NPR) reports that 96% of adult decedents in La Crosse, WI die with a completed advance directive (AD). Bud Hammes and Linda Briggs answer NPR’s questions about the Respecting Choices program and its impact on the La Crosse community.

Print Reports

Advance Care Planning is a Good Move (ACS Surgery News)

Dying is a certainty. Make a plan to take the stress out of the process for you and your family. Here is how Respecting Choices has helped with advance care planning (ACP) in the La Crosse, WI community.

Debate Over End-of-Life Care Began in Small Midwestern Town (The Washington Post)

How the average hospital cost near the end of a patient’s life is one of the lowest in the country in La Crosse, WI.

Expected Outcomes of the Respecting Choices® Approach: Congressional Report on Advance Directives and Advance Care Planning (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)

This extensive congressional report includes the historical perspective, ethical issues, barriers, future considerations, and much more.

How to Die in America: Welcome to La Crosse, Wisconsin (Forbes)

Four take-aways—what others can learn from the Respecting Choices program in La Crosse, WI. Bud Hammes discusses the Respecting Choices program’s humble beginnings and its development at Gundersen Health System (formerly known as Gundersen Healthcare Network).

Implementing a Care Planning System: How to Fix the Most Pervasive Errors in Healthcare (Health Affairs blog)

We can redesign the healthcare system to be more coordinated and person-centered, and with more individualized care plans.

Letting Go: What Should Medicine Do When It Can’t Save Your Life? (The New Yorker)

The New Yorker featured a story of how unexpectedly one’s life can change. Read about how a young couple, preparing for parenthood, brought a baby into the world, then had to fight a terminal disease. Preparing with advance care planning (ACP) helps ease an already difficult situation.

New Models of Care Improve End-of-life Quality: Seriously Ill Patients Fare Better (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

This article offers more details about the end-of-life quality and benefits of advance directives (ADs) in a Q&A with Respecting Choices Executive Director, Bud Hammes.

Planning for Life’s Final Stage (Star Tribune)

The article includes an interview with Bud Hammes and a patient at Gundersen Health System. The videos share family stories about planning for their loved ones’ end-of-life care.

‘Revolutionary’ Change for Life’s Final Choices Would Reduce Unwanted Care (Modern Healthcare)

Andis Robeznieks (Reporter/Chicago, Modern Healthcare) discusses how paying healthcare providers to have end-of-life discussions with patients.

Talking Early About How Life Should End (The New York Times)

In The New York Times, Tina Rosenberg (contributing writer for The New York Times magazine) shares the origins of Respecting Choices, beginning with dialysis patients.

Wisconsin is Learning How to Die (Vox)

Sarah Kliff (Senior Editor, discusses the movement to bring the Respecting Choices program to the entire state of Wisconsin.


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