National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is an annual event in the United States on April 16th. The day is dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of healthcare planning and encouraging people to make their healthcare wishes known in advance.
NHDD aims to empower individuals to talk with their families and healthcare providers about their values, beliefs and preferences for medical treatment and care. With NDHH right around the corner, there has never been a better time to make important medical decisions that remove the burden of deciding your healthcare and end-of-life wishes from your family members and impact your life and your loved ones for years to come. Talk to the South Florida Estate Planning Attorneys from The Siegel Law Group today.
What Is An Advanced Healthcare Directive?
One of the most important aspects to consider when it comes to medical planning is advanced medical care. Part of the planning process involves creating documents about an individual’s medical decisions. One such document is known as an Advanced Healthcare Directive also called a Living Will.
An Advanced Healthcare Directive is a legal document that outlines one’s preferences for medical treatment and cares if one becomes incapable of making their own decisions. This can be due to illness or injury. Also known as a Living Will or a Medical Directive, these documents allow individuals to specify their wishes regarding important medical decisions such as:
- Resuscitative efforts
- Blood transfusions
- Pain management
- Life support treatment
- Tissue and organ donation
- Palliative care
Why Are Advanced Healthcare Directives Important?
What happens if you become seriously injured or ill and cannot talk to your doctors yourself? Who will tell your medical team your treatment wishes, whether you want to be on devices to prolong your life, if you want a DNR and other healthcare issues?
As we age, it’s natural to think about our health and how we want to be treated if we become seriously ill or injured. Despite this, feelings of dread and anxiety often accompany the thought of making advanced healthcare decisions. Some may feel awkward, sad or uncomfortable talking to loved ones about potential incapacities or tragedies.
However, every family must have these difficult conversations and participate in advanced healthcare planning together. Doing so can often prevent hardship, confusion, and even conflicts. Creating an advanced healthcare directive is necessary and important because:
- It ensures that an individual’s healthcare preferences and wishes are respected and followed, even if they cannot communicate or make decisions independently.
- It can reduce stress and anxiety for loved ones who may otherwise feel conflicted about making difficult decisions regarding medical treatment.
- It can provide clear guidance to healthcare providers and reduce the risk of medical errors or misunderstandings.
- It can reduce the likelihood of family conflicts or disagreements about medical decisions.
- It can provide peace of mind for individuals and their loved ones, ensuring their healthcare wishes have been expressed and documented.
- It can facilitate timely and appropriate medical care without delay or confusion about an individual’s preferences.
Who Needs An Advance Healthcare Directive?
Advance healthcare directives are important legal documents that can help prevent confusion, disagreement, or regret about difficult medical decisions. But who needs one? The most accurate answer is everyone. Anyone over 18, regardless of their health status, should consider having an advance healthcare directive.
While it may seem more sensible to associate advance directives with older adults, the sad reality is that accidents and unexpected medical emergencies can happen to anyone at any age. Getting an advance healthcare directive for every adult in your family is the easiest way to bring collective peace of mind about important medical decisions.
What Should You Do on National Healthcare Decisions Day?
With National Healthcare Decisions Day fast approaching, you can mark the day by getting ahead of your advanced healthcare plan. Here are some steps you can take to honor National Healthcare Decisions Day:
While your well-intentioned loved ones may have their ideas about your healthcare decisions, the truth is that the final say should rest with you. Spend time thinking about what you want for yourself and your family. Getting clear about your preferences is the first step to creating a solid plan for the future.
Sometimes, you may be unsure about what to do in certain scenarios. Speaking to your family and healthcare providers about your medical wishes may help clarify your advanced healthcare preferences.
Once you reflect and discuss your medical wishes with your loved ones and healthcare providers, you are ready to begin creating your advanced healthcare directive. Contact an experienced South Florida Estate Planning Attorney who can help you get started.
Call THE South Florida Estate Planning Attorney – Barry Siegel
Advanced healthcare is a complex topic, but creating a directive does not need to be difficult. Speaking to a knowledgeable South Florida Estate Planning Attorney makes the process straightforward and effortless. For more information about legal documents your adult children may need when they turn 18, follow this link.
At the Siegel Law Group, we are dedicated to making the lives of our clients easier. Let us handle the legwork, so you can get back to focusing on living your life. Call our office at 561-576-6206 for a complimentary consultation, or submit our online contact form to schedule a consultation today. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us.