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2003 Minnesota Advance Directives Survey

This survey examines the opinions of Minnesota residents age 18 and older about their use of advance health care directives and with whom, if anyone, they have discussed their end-of-life wishes.

  • More than one quarter (27 percent) of survey repondents have completed an Advance Health Care Directive, Living Will, or Health Care Power of Attorney.

  • Of the 73 percent who have not completed one, 32 percent say they don't think they need such a document, 31 percent have not gotten around to it, 24 percent feel it takes too much time, 23 percent don't know where to get the documents, and 18 percent have never heard of the document before.

  • Two-thirds (66 percent) of survey respondents say they have talked with someone about their end-of-life concerns and wishes.

  • The overwhelming majority (74 percent) have spoken to their spouse/partner. Other people that respondents have discussed their end-of-life wishes include adult children (34 percent); other family members, such as children under 18, siblings and cousins (32 percent); their parents (26 percent), and friends (21 percent). Lawyers (17 percent), primary physicians (9 percent), clergy/pastor/priest (3 percent) and other health care providers (3 percent)—such as non-primary doctors, nurses, etc.—are mentioned less often.

The omni-poll survey of 804 state residents age 18 and older was conducted by the Minnesota Center for Survey Research, at the University of Minnesota, between September 22, 2003 and November 16, 2003. The report was prepared by Susan Silberman, Ph.D., of AARP Knowledge Management who may be contacted at 202/434-6339 for further information. (7 pages)

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