Oakwood information session spotlights advanced directives

Everyone procrastinates about something, but some decisions are too important to be put off.

That’s the idea behind National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), which is designed to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making in order to adequately prepare for end-of-life care.

“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, we hope more people in our community will have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Gail Daly, RN, PhD, director of Clinical Ethics at Oakwood Hospital-Dearborn.

The seventh annual NHDD is April 16. Oakwood will host an information session with representatives from the Clinical Ethics Consultation Service, Family Matters and Palliative care departments from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the cafeteria at OH-D. They will provide information and tools so the public can talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives—including healthcare power of attorney and living wills— in accordance with Michigan state laws.

Daly said it’s important to talk about these issues early, so that they won’t become an additional burden when the time comes.

“Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient,” she said. “Healthcare providers and facilities will be better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and be better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.”