It's National Health Care Decision Day: Have You Made a Choice?

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Since 2008, April 16 has been recognized as National Health Care Decision Day. What does this mean, exactly? Created to bring awareness to the importanc...

Since 2008, April 16 has been recognized as National Health Care Decision Day. What does this mean, exactly? Created to bring awareness to the importance of having advanced care planning in place in the off chance that you may not be able to voice your wants regarding personal health care wishes, this day raises questions about living wills and health care power of attorneys.

Are You Prepared?

Having a living will in place can show your health care providers your specific stance on the type of medical end-of-life care that you want or prefer. As well, this legal document can state what types of medical care that you don’t like or want.

Having a health care power of attorney may also be appropriate. This legal document can allow your views to be heard if you’re unable to speak them yourself. This document will direct a person or persons to make a health care decision on your behalf (i.e. if you need an emergency operation).

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Bill Finn, CEO of Hospice of the Western Reserve, has stated the following regarding the controversial matter: “In America, with the changes we’ve seen in how we receive and pay for our heath care, there’s a growing emphasis on patients being responsible for their own care – understanding their care and being aware of their care.”

Though it may be an uncomfortable conversation to have, it’s vital to express your feelings on the matter and have them written down. In doing so, you (the patient) can benefit, as well as your surrounding family members. An argument or conflict can be avoided to determine your type of care, as what you want done with be in writing and pre-determined.

That’s what National Healthcare Decision Day is all about: making sure you’re prepared for the future. After all, it’s your body and your life—what do you want done with it?

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