Do you know what an advanced directive is?
April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day and it refers to a living will and a healthcare power of attorney. In other words, what type of medical intervention do you want at the end of life, and who do you want making those decisions on your behalf?
According toThe Pew Research Center, January 2006.:
- 42% of Americans have had a friend or relative suffer from a terminal illness or coma in the last five years and for a majority of these people and 23% of the general public, the issue of withholding life sustaining treatment came up.
- An overwhelming majority of the public supports laws that give patients the right to decide whether they want to be kept alive through medical treatment.
- By more than eight-to-one (84%-10%), the public approves of laws that let terminally ill patients make decisions about whether to be kept alive through medical treatment.
- One of the most striking changes between 1990 and 2005 is the growth in the number of people who say they have a living will – up 17 points, from 12% in 1990 to 29% now.
See the article here.
Already have your advanced directives? This is a good time to review your wishes with your healthcare power of attorney, especially if your wishes have changed. Need to get your advance directives? Visit www.agingwithdignity.org and click on “5 Wishes.”