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Making your health care wishes known

by Carolyn Holly

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBCarolyn

KTVB.COM

Posted on April 17, 2012 at 10:15 AM

Updated yesterday at 10:15 AM

Very few us want to think about death or anything thing that could be called a "medical crisis."

However, tomorrow is a special day when health professionals say you can make some decisions about these tough issues, and then put them down on paper.

It's National Health Care Decision Day.

The goal: to make sure your health care wishes are known by using what's called an advance directive.

An advanced directive is a document that allows you to make your wishes known in advance regarding end of life care. The purpose is to appoint someone to make health care decisions for you if you should ever become ill or injured and unable to communicate.

When used appropriately, these documents can truly be a gift to the family members of anyone who is approaching the end stages of life.

Why?

The document serves as a road map to communicate your wishes and the steps you want taken during the end stages of life.

Some things to think about when completing an advance directive include:

* What do you want and not want at the end of life or when you cannot speak for yourself?
* Who should speak for you?  Who is the best person to speak about your wishes?
* What are your greatest concerns? For example pain, becoming a burden to your family, etc.  
* What one thing do you want to be sure your doctors, family, and friends know about your wishes?

For those who'd like assistance in filling out one of these documents, St. Luke's Hospital is hosting two community events on Wednesday, April 18th in the lobby areas of both St. Luke's downtown hospital and the Meridian hospital.

Both events run from 8 a.m to 2 p.m, and it’s free.
For more information about advance directives in Idaho click here.

-Carolyn

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