Monday, April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day – “National Healthcare Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.”
“Ideally, each of us would be able to make our own health care decisions throughout our lives. But in reality, many will have at least a limited period of time when we are unable to communicate our health care choices. Advance health care directives increase the likelihood our wishes are followed, when we are not in a position to voice them.
“Advance health care directives are written directions that appoint another individual to make heath care decisions when a patient is unable to effect such decisions, and frequently include patients’ specific directions on the care they want to receive. Advance directives include a power of attorney that appoints a health care agent, a living will that leaves instructions on end-of-life care, do-not resuscitate orders and values surveys that offer guidance on care decisions.
“To encourage advance health care planning, April 16th is National Health Care Decisions Day. Most adults put off planning and may be confused by conflicting information and myths about advance health care planning. Let’s clear up a few common myths:
“Myth No. 1: Advance directives are only for older people.
“False. It is true older people are most likely to use advance directives, but every adult needs one. You never know when an accident or injury might leave you temporarily unable to communicate. Young adults should at a minimum name someone to make health care decisions when they can’t.
Click here to see a broader list of common myths and responses from this article, “A Call to Action for National Health Care Decisions Day” at the American Bar Association Website.