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April 14, 2017

National Healthcare Decisions Day 2017: It always seems too early, until it's too late

NHDD 2017

Thinking about death can be hard, and talking with loved ones about your wishes for end-of-life care can be equally difficult. Still, these conversations are essential for ensuring that your wants are met if you are ever in a medical facility and unable to communicate.

Each year, National Healthcare Decisions Day provides an opportunity to better understand the value of advance health care planning – along with the tools and resources to make those plans happen. This year’s NHDD will be recognized over a full week, starting April 16 and wrapping up April 22. During this time, individuals are encouraged to think about preferred end-of-life care desires, commit to them in writing, and share them with family and friends.

To help in this process, The Missouri Bar will continue to make available as a public service a “Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Health Care Directive” for use by the general public. This form puts your decisions in writing and allows you to designate an agent to carry them out. The form is free online here and may be downloaded and/or copied as needed.

Now is the time to put your end-of-life care wishes in place. Begin the conversation with your loved ones today to ensure that your choices are expressed and respected when it matters most.