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April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day


Did you know that April 16 (every year) is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD)?

Just what is NHDD?

It’s a “50-state annual initiative to provide clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to both the public and providers/facilities through the widespread availability and dissemination of simple, free, and uniform tools (not just forms) to guide the process.”

From the NHDD Mission Statement:

“National Healthcare Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate & empower the public & providers about the importance of advance care planning. National Healthcare Decisions Day is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.”

The NHDD Founder & Chair is attorney Nathan Kottkamp of the McGuire Woods LLP law firm. NHDD has a really nice Website, Blog, Facebook and Twitter.

NHDD also has some excellent Public Resources and Facts.

I’ve written a few times on this blog about advance medical directives:

I think that last one is worth stressing (and because that post has not been heavily seen). Sometimes there is a misconception that estate planning is only for the elderly. But one of the things that we stress is that every adult (read: 18) should have powers of attorney, especially for health care. Parents are sometimes surprised that, due to HIPAA regulations, they may be shut out from medical information for their college-age teen in case of an emergency. A Power of Attorney for Health Care can be a lifesaver for adults at any age.

If you or your loved ones do not have advance medical directives, or have not discussed your wishes with your family, perhaps NHDD is the day to have that conversation.