Friday, April 10, 2009

National Healthcare Decisions Day

I'm taking a break from the normally light-hearted and ridiculous fluff I post to bring you something important to think about. Next Thursday, April 16th, is National Healthcare Decisions Day. It's a day in which to stop and reflect on what you would want to happen in the event of your catastrophic illness or injury.

I know...I KNOW! It's not a fun topic. Nobody likes to think about what horrible things could happen to themselves. But, what if something did? Have you communicated your wishes to your loved ones? Do they know what you want to happen? Do you want to ask someone to make such difficult decisions when they are emotionally wrought? Neither do I! And since I am in the middle of helping my Dad prepare documents that address these issues in advance of his procedure next week, it is obviously very timely for me.

Hospice of the Western Reserve (Cleveland) has a project they are coordinating for this event. They are asking bloggers to post their wishes on their blog. Here is the information my friend Paige sent me:

April 16th—yes, the day after taxes—is National Healthcare Decisions Day. As a part of this initiative, Hospice of the Western Reserve would like to invite you to share your wishes in the event of a tragedy on your blog.

You’ve heard about the high profile cases: Terri Schiavo, Karen Ann Quinlan and Nancy Cruzan. All were young women, and none of them established their end of life wishes before being faced with tragedy.

The younger you are, the more important it is to plan ahead. Although the likelihood that they will be needed is not as great, the severity of the consequences is greater.

If you’re interested in raising awareness for advance care planning among young professionals in Cleveland, let me know and I can send you Courage in Conversation and/or set you up with someone from our team to discuss. I’ll be posting on my personal blog on April 16, too, and will be providing links to participating blogs/columns on our website, I’d like to invite you to link back to this page on your blog, too.

Here are some questions to get you going:
• What is most important for you in your life right now?
• What are your most important hopes?
• What do you hope to avoid most of all?
• Which options would you prefer?
• Attempt cure; use all appropriate interventions.
• Give curative treatments where appropriate and manage other conditions; avoid aggressive interventions.
• Keep me comfortable and emphasize quality of what time remains; avoid potentially life-prolonging interventions.

If you have a blog, please consider participating as well as having this conversation with your loved ones. If you don't have a blog, just have the talk. There is additional information on preparing advanced directives on this site.

Thanks, everyone!


Unknown said...

Great idea.

I keep hoping that LW knows what I want. But I think I need to express those wishes since we're not married. I don't want my family to make those choices. I remembering doing that for my mother and it was hard.

Shoes Always Fit said...

Thanks for posting Kim!

Danica -- You should defintaly do the Healthcare Power of Attorney. Since you aren't married, LW might not be be able to help make the decision.