Advance directives are documents to direct medical care when a patient is unable to communicate their own wishes due to a medical condition. In Ohio, do not resuscitate orders, living wills, organ donation and durable powers of attorney are advance directives that are authorized by state law.
What is Advanced Care Planning?
Advance care planning refers to when people proactively think about what their health care wishes would be if they were unable to speak for themselves at any time in the future, and communicate those wishes to others. Advanced care planning is important for people of all ages because anything can happen to anyone at any time and having a plan in place can help ensure that your health care wishes can be known and honored in any situation.
A powerful tool to help let your medical team know your health care wishes is through an Advance Directive.
Why is this important?
Did you know that no more than one third of all American adults have an advance care plan in writing? This is particularly concerning because studies suggest that roughly 70 percent of Americans will be unable to make decisions for themselves at some point in their lives. This is why advance care planning is so important. And, it is not just important for the elderly or those with severe illness. Health crises can happen to anyone at any time.
How can I complete an advance directive?
Any person over age 18 who can make his or her own decisions can complete an advance directive form. You do not need a lawyer to complete advance directive forms. However, the forms need to be signed by a notary or two witnesses. The witness may include anyone except your physician, family members, or the person(s) you’re naming as decision maker in the advance directives.
National Health Care Decisions Day
National Health care Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding health care and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.
For 2017, NHDD will be a week long event, April 16 - 22.
The NHDD Initiative is a collaborative effort of national, state and community organizations committed to ensuring that all adults with decision-making capacity in the United States have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their health care decisions.
The objectives of the NHDD are to provide information to the public, reduce the number of tragedies that occur with a person's wishes are unknown and improve the ability of health care facilities and providers to offer informed and thoughtful guidance about advance health care planning to patients.
Visit www.nhdd.org for more information and resources.