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Jun 4, 2018 08:32PM
Thank you everyone for these replies -- they are most helpful! It sounds to me that there is definitely a need (I suspected as much, but I'm not looking to reinvent the wheel if there was already a comprehensive service made available to patients.
edwards750 -- I couldn't agree more! The furthest thing from one's mind during these sorts of trials (so to speak) should be the concern that Ts have not been crossed.
MelissaDallas -- I have heard of such services for terminal patients, this is helpful thank you. I am thinking of something for patients that, while not necessarily terminal, still do not have the time or psychological disposable energy to navigate these kinds of issues.
SpecialK -- thank you! This is exactly the kind of resource I was not finding in my (admittedly cursory) research. It looks like they can provide a lot of information and have an ability to ask a question, they might be most of the way there in terms of what I was thinking.
ShetlandPony -- I'm sorry to hear that you had such a negative experience. As for getting affairs in order, wills, powers of attorneys and those sorts of documents are largely form-based. So I definitely see a potential avenue by which a nonprofit of some sort could provide the forms and some basic guidance, with an ability to ask a question if there is some kind of specific complication or twist. As for your tax issue, as a tax attorney myself, I can attest to the fact that non-tax attorneys essentially want nothing to do with issues of taxation or the IRS. It is something that attorneys seeking to specialize in typically go for an extra year of training for.
HapB -- Thanks for the feedback! Here in NJ and PA there are clinics for indigent clients as well, but as you say I have not seen anything tailored for cancer patients specifically. I think tailoring would serve two purposes: first and foremost it would ensure that patients were put in contact with someone, or information, that was most likely to be applicable to them; second, and perhaps actually just as importantly, it would make clear to a cancer patient seeking information and/or guidance that the service is for them. An information portal dedicated to providing information for terminal patients generally might a) never be found by a non-terminal patient and b) even if it is found, the patient would be unsure if the same information applies to them. Sorry, didn't mean for that to turn in to a lecture, just bouncing my ideas off you! :-)
In general, I think there is something here to contribute to. First it might be an informational service that just provides general guidance, but I'd like to see some kind of network of participating attorneys set up. I'm going a bit off topic here, but the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has a participating attorneys mailing list that sends out requests for representation/guidance for individuals targeted by media companies for copyright infringements, etc. I'm envisioning something similar, along with some information for attorneys that are not necessarily experts in a particular field, but would be willing to assist.