FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NATIONAL HEALTHCARE DECISIONS DAY SET FOR APRIL 16, 2009
NEWTON, Mass. (April, 2009) – Newton-Wellesley Hospital, in conjunction with Partners HealthCare System, and other national, state and community organizations, is leading a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making. This effort has culminated in the formal designation of April 16, 2009 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) and Newton-Wellesley Hospital is providing information and tools for patients and the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers. Patients are encouraged to execute written advance directives in accordance with the Massachusetts Healthcare Proxy Law.
On Thursday, April 16, between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm Newton-Wellesley Hospital is welcoming the public and providing free information about advance care planning and advance directive forms. Staff will be available in the Wikstrom Surgical Center to speak with the public and assist with the completion of the advance directives.
Formal advance directives are documents written in advance of serious illness that state your choices for health care, or name someone to make those choices, if you become unable to make decisions. Through advance directives, such as living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care, you can make legally valid decisions about your future medical treatment.
“As a result of National Healthcare Decisions Day, many more people in our community can be expected to have thoughtful conversations about their healthcare decisions and complete reliable advance directives to make their wishes known,” said Steven Pestka, MD, a hospitalist on staff at Newton-Wellesley Hospital.
“Fewer families and healthcare providers will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from the patient, and 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.”
For more information about National Healthcare Decision Day, please visit www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.
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