National Healthcare Decisions Day [04-15-13]

Filed under: Industry Updates — Editor @ 4:08 pm

nhddApril 16, 2013 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. The goal of the day is to encourage Americans to think and talk about their health care goals and communicate their health care decisions by executing advance health care directives.  Studies indicate that most Americans have not executed documents that name a health care decision-maker or a living will declaration to express their wishes for their end-of-life care. As a result, families and health care providers regularly struggle when forced to make difficult health care decisions in a crisis in the absence of guidance from the patient. These stressful moments can be eased if individuals execute advance health care directives or living will declarations and appointments of health care representatives or health care powers of attorney.

Across the United States, health care providers, professionals, chaplains, attorneys and others will focus attention on the importance of appointing health care decision-makers and expressing end-of-life care desires. These groups will educate Americans that they have the right to make decisions about their health care in the event they cannot speak for themselves or are incapacitated and cannot make those decisions. These groups will also draw attention to the steps individuals can take to execute advance health care directives, such as appointments of health care representatives, health care powers of attorney and living will declarations, in accordance with applicable state laws.

Two Types of Health Care Directives

An advance health care directive or living will declaration is a document that allows individuals to continue their personal autonomy and provide instructions for what medical treatments would or would not be wanted in case they become incapacitated and cannot make decisions.

An appointment of a health care representative or health care power of attorney is a document that allows individuals to select a person who will make their decisions if they become incapacitated and cannot communicate their wishes directly.

Read More at Your Decisions Matter.

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