April 16th is National Health Care Decisions Day, which encourages local residents to have open conversations with their loved ones about their most personal wishes for health care, including thoughts on life support, feeding tubes, organ donation, long-term care and what is “qualify of life”.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA (03/30/2012)- April 16th is National Health Care Decisions Day, which encourages local residents to have tough conversations with their loved ones about their most personal wishes for medical care.
These conversations include wishes and preferences about life support, feeding tubes, organ donation and what you consider to be “quality of life” in the event of a long-term incapacity.
According Steve Worrall, an estate planning attorney in Atlanta, Georgia, these conversations may be hard to have, but it’s the only way to make sure your wishes are honored and that your loved one’s stay together in a medical emergency.
“I’ve seen many families torn apart trying to figure out what their loved one ‘would have wanted’ during a medical crisis,” says Worrall. “In some cases, families even spend years battling in court for control, much like Terri Shiavo’s family did,” he adds.
Worrall says strife over health care decisions can be avoided by letting someone know your wishes and clearly documenting them. He says that legal tools such as a Power of Attorney, Health Care Directive and HIPAA forms are easy ways to let doctors and family members know how to manage your care if the unthinkable happens.
“Medical crises can be emotional, and the only way to guarantee your wishes are honored and that your family stays together is to let everyone know exactly what you want and who you trust to make those decisions. It will make life easier for everyone in a true emergency,” says Worrall.
For more information on documenting your personal health care wishes or about National Health Care Decisions Day, please visit Worrall’s website (www.georgiafamilylaw.com) or the National Health Care Decisions Day website (http://www.nhdd.org/).