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April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day – Do You Have a Health Care Directive in Place?

A health care directive, also called an advance directive, allows you to express your wishes regarding your health care so that if you become incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself, providers and facilities are aware of and can honor your wishes. Generally, this is accomplished through a healthcare power of attorney and/or a living will. Such documents can:

  • designate an individual you trust to make health care decisions for you if you cannot make or communicate decisions for yourself.
  • provide for disclosure of medical information;
  • allow admission to/discharge from a hospital, nursing or convalescent home, hospice, long-term care facility, or other health care facility;
  • authorize admission to/discharge from a facility for treatment of mental illness;
  • permit X-ray, anesthesia, medication, surgery, and other diagnostic and treatment procedures;
  • provide instruction regarding end-of-life care, including the use of life-prolonging measures and artificial hydration;
  • address organ donation.

Having a directive in place that addresses these issues ahead of time can help ease the burden on family and friends. Contact us today for more information about making your wishes regarding medical treatment known through a healthcare directive.

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