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Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day 2021: Awareness and Action

MedMal24

Many people get a kick out of celebrating national days dedicated to hamburgers, margaritas, and their favorite desserts, but one upcoming event will focus on a topic of which everyone should take note: Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). The effort is spearheaded by The Conversation Project, a group of lawyers and professionals who are passionate about disseminating clear, credible information about advance health care planning. Though NHDD is just for a day on April 16, many in the medical field celebrate the concept of taking control over health-related decisions all month long.

The campaign highlights the role of advance directives, how they operate, and strategies for creating them to align with your goals for health care and end-of-life planning. You can obtain helpful information by visiting the NHDD website and getting involved with events, but some basic information may be helpful. 

Florida Law Considers Health Care Decisions a Right: NHDD publishes numerous articles promoting the importance of advance directives, but you may be more impressed by the significance of these documents by knowing one fact: Florida lawmakers specifically state that every adult has a fundamental right to make health-related decisions. You hold many other rights in high esteem, so should be the case with your right of self-determination on medical issues.

Limitations Without an Advance Directive: Another motivation to address advance directives is understanding what happens if you do NOT execute the proper documents. Health care planning focuses on providing instructions to your loved ones in the event that you become incapacitated and cannot make medical decisions for yourself.

Without an advance directive, your family will have to petition the court to appoint a guardian to act on your behalf. The legal process can be lengthy, which can lead to unfortunate delays in receiving the medical care you need. It is also expensive, and there is no guarantee that your guardian will act according to your wishes – because you have not specified them as you would with an advance directive.

Your Options for Advance Directives for Health Care Planning: There are many goals you can achieve by working with an attorney on advance directive planning, but some of the documents to consider are: 

  • A Designation of Health Care Surrogate, where you appoint an agent to make health decisions for you;
  • Your Living Will, in which you provide instructions on life-sustaining health measures and end-of-life care; and
  • A Do Not Resuscitate Order, if you choose to inform others that you do not want CPR or artificial ventilation in the event of cardiac arrest. 

Our Team Can Advise You on Advance Directives and End-of-Life Planning 

Our focus at Freidin Brown, P.A. is medical malpractice, but our Miami medical malpractice attorneys are prepared to answer your questions and guide you in choosing a lawyer to assist with health care decisions. Of course, if your concerns about advance directives are related to medical errors, our med mal attorneys will assist with getting the compensation you deserve. Please contact our offices to schedule a free consultation today.

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