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Get Your Wishes In Writing

“National Healthcare Decisions Day. Your decisions matter.”  

On April 16, You're Encouraged To Begin "The Conversation"

There are hundreds of excuses to avoid talking about advance care planning or end-of-life care. The top ones: "it’s uncomfortable" and "there’s never really a right time to talk about it." However, it’s one of the most important conversations you or a loved one can have when it comes to following through on medical related wishes. Dr. James Lackey, an obstetrician-gynecologist who has delivered more than 6,000 babies and is also the Medical Director for Utilization Management for Integris, has seen this unthinkable scene play out during his years of practice. “Our goal is for people to think about what they want and to communicate that to the people who will be taking care of them.” 

To help get the conversation started, April 16th has been named National Healthcare Decisions Day. It’s a national initiative to encourage adults of all ages to make plans ahead of a health crisis. When people make decisions ahead of time and put their wishes in writing, it helps bring peace of mind to you and the rest of your family. It also helps to avoid the difficult situations that are so common when a person becomes seriously ill and your family is left guessing on decisions of life and death. “It’s a gift to the people who love you. When we get to the end of our days and are often unable to communicate making a bad situation worse for loved ones and it can be made better with some advanced planning,” shared Dr. Lackey.

There are two key advance care planning forms: a Living Will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney form. The Living Will is used to used to help direct the person in charge of your care to make decisions on future medical treatments if you were to become incapacitated, typically at the end of life. A Healthcare Power of Attorney is used to appoint a person to make medical decisions upon your behalf if you are incapacitated. Both forms are recommended and don’t expire. The only costs that are associated with these forms are for attorney or notary services.