April 16th is National Health Care Decisions Day.  When a health crisis occurs, many individuals and families are unwillingly thrust into a situation where a difficult decision must be made, and the values or preferences that would guide that decision were never discussed.  Don't let this happen to you.  Take time to choose your power of attorney for health care, the one person you would trust to make decisions about your health care on your behalf if you were ever unable to express those wishes.  Let that person know that you would be honored if they would play that role for you.  Talk with them about what is important to you if you ever encounter a scenario in your own health where you cannot verbalize your wishes.  You don't even have to discuss specifics, but it may help that person if they know what type of approach you would want if you were in that situation and you had very little hope for recovery.  Then, complete the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care form.  It can be downloaded here.  Make copies for your power of attorney, yourself, and give one to your doctor and anyone else you think should have a copy.  If you need help, make an appointment with your doctor to specifically discuss this issue.

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Click to listen to the February 14, 2010 episode of Radio House Calls, hosted by Doctor David Fisher. David can be heard live every Sunday evening on AM560 from 10-11pm CST.

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