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"It always seems too early, until it’s too late." March 2017

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The title of this blog is the 2017 Theme for National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) that runs through the week of April 16 through April 22. Now is a good time to talk with your doctor about future medical treatment choices prior to a life limiting event.  Regardless of age, a medical emergency can limit a person’s ability to convey type of care wanted.  Did you know that according to an American Journal of Preventive Medicine study that lack of awareness continues to be a main reason as to why individuals do not have advanced care directives in place?

What matters most to you in case of a life limiting illness?  Advanced directives include desired preferences that can be set up when you are wanting and able to clearly describe your medical preferences and to appoint a trusted person to serve as a healthcare agent.

Previous end of life treatment survey results show:

  • Most adults surveyed stated a preference to die at home, but only one-third have an advance directive expressing their wishes for end of life care (Pew Research Center, 2006)
  • More than eight-to-one (84%-10%) of the public approve of laws to let terminally ill patients make decisions regarding whether or not to be kept alive through medical treatment (Pew Research Center, 2005)
  • 2013 survey by Pew found 35% of adults stated that they have wishes in writing or have a living will

For more information, download a free advanced care directive toolkit through St. John Providence website.  Another resource is the Michigan Department of Community Health overseeing the MIPeace of Mind Registry where you can register and also download patient advocate forms.

This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult your doctor for more information or if you have a medical concern.

Source: National Healthcare Decision Day, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, American Academy of Family Physicians; American Journal of Preventive Medicine, American College of Physicians, National Institute on Aging, Pew Research Center

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