National Healthcare Decisions Day April 16

Online Staff Report

Living will, advance directive, power of attorney … these terms can be confusing, but it is so important that everyone understands them.

Monday, April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day — a day to encourage adults to communicate their end-of-life care decisions to family and health care providers. Having discussions about dying wishes is hard, but making medical decisions for someone without their input is even harder.

Oftentimes, people believe their families know their care wishes, but they do not. It is best to document care wishes while everyone is healthy and thinking clearly. Accidents and serious illness can occur at any time.

The objectives of NHDD are to educate adults about how to document and communicate their healthcare decisions to doctors and loved ones through advance care planning. Advance care planning allows the patient to decide what medical care they would and would not want at the end of life and who can make medical decisions on their behalf should they become unable to make those decisions.

“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, more people in the community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete a Power of Attorney for Health Care form to make their wishes known,” said Dr. Robert Sawicki, senior vice president of Supportive Care for OSF HealthCare. “Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient.”

Posted April 11, 2012

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