Living will important, gives families final assurance about loved one's wishes
Baptist Health Paducah. April 18, 2023
National Healthcare Decisions Day is a day is to educate the public about the importance of Advance Care Planning.
This Sunday is National Healthcare Decisions Day. This day is to educate the public about the importance of Advance Care Planning and living wills. The reality is many will face the decision on whether to continue or discontinue long-term life support care for a loved one facing end-of-life issues. And, oftentimes, this a decision that must be made quickly.
Advance Care Planning addresses end-of-life care, how to talk to loved ones about those desires and how to put those wishes in writing through advance directives. Advance directives are legal documents that take effect when someone is no longer able to speak for themselves. They include:
Living will – which guides healthcare professionals and family members about the life-prolonging treatment.
Durable power of attorney for healthcare – designates a healthcare surrogate to carry out those wishes.
”Advance Care Planning involved very important conversations about the type of care you would like when you can’t speak for yourself,” said Mike Muscarella, Director of Ambulatory Services. “These conversations help you identify who would be your advocate or health care surrogate to speak for you. You healthcare surrogate may be your partner, spouse, a parent, a child or loved one or even a close friend who you trust. Facilitators help you express the type of care you would like to receive during these moments based on your values and beliefs.”
That is why living wills, or advance directives, are so important. It gives the family the assurance that the decision they are making is what their loved one wants.
Every adult eighteen and older is strongly encouraged to have a living will or at least an identification of a health care surrogate. At Baptist Health we have advance care planning facilitators who can speak with you and help you plan and complete an advance directive such as a living will. It is a free service that we provide to our patients because we believe it is our responsibility to know your values and preferences while helping you prepare for future healthcare decisions when you cannot speak for yourself. These decisions allow you to focus on living fully in the present.
If you would like more information, please contact our Help Line at 1.833.307.2081 or visit our website at www.baptisthealth.com/ACP.