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April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day

By: 15 April 2011 2 Comments

Saturday (April 16) is the fourth annual National Health Care Decisions Day.

What is that? According to a news release from health care company Amedisys (Nasdaq:AMED) — the Baton Rouge, La.-based health care company which is an event sponsor — the event was established to raise awareness of the importance of making “end of life” health care decisions. The event has been tied to the legal battle over end-of-life care decisions in the case of Terri Schiavo. Schiavo, who was 41-years-old at the time of her death, left no documented wishes regarding her health care in event of incapacity. Her family and the courts had to make that decision for her.

National Health Care Decisions Day, then, was founded by Virginia attorney Nathan Kottkamp in an attempt to impress upon people the importance of documented what health decisions should be made on their behalf in the event of incapacitation.

On Thursday, the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging provided a news release to First Arkansas News regarding its observation of National Healthcare Decisions Day on Friday (April 15). Please note that the national event is on Saturday, but the East Arkansas group is observing it on Friday, according to its news release. We apologize for the short notice, but we received the release prior to the event and it reads as follows:

JONESBORO – East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging (EAAAA), along with other national, state and community organizations, are leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making.

As Arkansas’ state liaison and participating organization, EAAAA is providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives (healthcare power of attorney and living will) in accordance with Arkansas state laws. These resources are available through EAAAA’s Family Caregiver Support Program, (870) 930-2204 and at www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.

Specifically, on April 15, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging is welcoming the public at 2005 East Highland Drive, to obtain free information about advance care planning and advance directive forms. Attorneys from Arkansas Legal Aid will also be in attendance to answer any questions participants may have.

“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Rose Trosper, Family Care Specialist with the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging. “Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient, and healthcare providers and facilities will be better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and be better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.”

For more information about National Healthcare Decision Day, please visit www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.

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