Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley encouraging advance directives
Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 8:14 am

To the Editor:

While making healthcare decisions is often difficult in the best of circumstances, making decisions for others is even more complicated. Each of us has the ability to guide our healthcare providers and our loved ones about what we want.

Advance directives give you the ability to document the types of healthcare you do and do not want, and to name an “agent” to speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself.

It is estimated that only about 25 percent of Americans have completed an advance directive. Because advance directives can be created without a lawyer, for free, and relatively easily, this figure is astonishingly low.

In recognition of this, National Healthcare Decisions Day strives to provide much-needed information to the public, reduce the number of tragedies that occur when a person’s wishes are unknown, and improve the ability of healthcare facilities and providers to offer informed and thoughtful guidance about advance healthcare planning to their patients.

Visit www.hospiceslv.org for free information and tools to assist with thoughtful reflections on healthcare choices and ideas on how to get involved.

With healthcare, your decisions matter, hover, others need to know your wishes to honor them. There are no wrong answers when thinking about healthcare choices and completing an advance directive.

Please use April 16 to decide, discuss, and document your wishes, whatever they may be.

Gary Canfield

Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley board member