In the News
April 18, 2017
Take action to make your health care wishes known
To the editor:
This is the 10-year anniversary of National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), April 16, a day that was founded to inspire, educate and empower the public and healthcare providers about the importance of advance care planning. This special initiative creates an opportunity to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding how much treatment they want to receive at end of life and for health care providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.
Care Dimensions would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to think and talk about how they wish to be treated in the event a medical crisis leaves them unable to speak for themselves. As a hospice and palliative care physician for the past 18 years, I’ve seen firsthand the stress families experience when conversations about health care wishes haven’t happened. Understanding options for end-of-life care — before the crisis of an accident or life-limiting diagnosis — can help patients and families assume more control over decision making and avert unnecessary suffering and emotional distress.
Although you don’t need an attorney to fill out or execute the forms, you might consider giving your lawyer a completed copy. Make sure you have copies of the completed, signed and witnessed forms for your loved ones, your doctor, and a copy at home that can be easily accessed in an emergency.
Take action now to make your health care wishes known and encourage your loved ones to do the same — they will thank you for it.
Dr. Stephanie Patel
Chief medical officer, Care Dimensions