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WCMC encourages participation in National Healthcare Decisions Day
Apr 08, 2009

National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16.  This nationwide effort is focused on making people aware of the importance of end-of-life planning and advanced directives.  White County Medical Center encourages everyone to consider these important decisions.  

“Many people are worried about the medical care they would be given if they should become terminally ill and unable to communicate their wishes,” Vicki Dahlem, Nurse Manager of WCMC’s Critical Care Unit, said.  “Many people don’t want to be dependent on life support, such as ventilators or feeding tubes, and they don’t want to cause unnecessary emotional or financial distress for their loved ones.”

A growing number of people are taking an active role in their care before they become seriously ill. They are stating their healthcare preferences in writing while they are still healthy and able to make such decisions, through legal documents called advance directives.  National Healthcare Decisions Day encourages you to join these people.  

“An advance directive allows you to state your wishes related to healthcare should you become unable to communicate them,” Dahlem said.  “Whether you're 18 or 80, documenting your wishes today means your family won't have to make heart-wrenching decisions later. We encourage everyone to talk with their family, their friends, their doctor. Know the options. Decide what's right for you, and then put it in writing.”

Over 450 organizations are participating in National Healthcare Decisions Day, including the American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the American Bar Association, American Nurses Association and the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization.  For more information or to obtain an advance directive, visit www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org. 
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