Living will, advance directive, power of attorney these terms can be confusing, but it is so important that everyone understands them.
Monday, April 16, is National Healthcare Decisions Day - a day to encourage adults to communicate their end-of-life care wishes to family and health care providers. Having discussions about dying wishes is hard, but making medical decisions for someone without their input is even harder.
Often times, people believe their families know their care wishes, but they may not. It is best to document care wishes while everyone is healthy and thinking clearly. Accidents and serious illness can occur at any time. I encourage everyone to contact their doctor about advance care planning so they can document their end-of-life care decisions. As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, I hope that more people in our community can have thoughtful conversations and make their wishes known.
Ronald Bissett, MD, FAAFP
Palliative Care Physician, OSF St. Francis Hospital
Hospice Medical Director of OSF Home Care Services, Michigan