EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

Medical Decisionmaking, End of Life Issues: April 18, 2008 is National Healthcare Decisions Day

The Federal Patient Self-Determination Act requires that all Medicare-participating healthcare facilities inquire about and provide information to patients on Advance Directives; it also requires these facilities to provide community education on Advance Directives. See Part 42 of Code of Federal Regulations C.F.R. § 489.102. All healthcare facilities are required to:
  • Provide information about health care decision-making rights.
  • Ask all patients if they have an advance directive.
  • Educate their staff and community about advance directives.
  • Not discriminate against patients based on an advance directive status.

Quoted Text: Courtesy of National Healthcare Decision Day website

How many of us (the general us, that is) have prepared for a future when we will no longer be healthy or physically able to manage on our own? Do you have a loved one or family member who is slowly losing the ability to perform activities of daily living such as food shopping, managing financial matters, maintaining a home?

How many of us have created, signed and filed Advanced Directives with our healthcare providers and legal representative, which outlines specific desires for end of life/terminal healthcare decisions? Or appointed a medical power of attorney in writing?

The answer is: surely, not enough of us. No one really likes to envision these things.

Or, are you a healthcare provider who is asked for this type of information by your own patients or their family members, and would like to have sources to refer these folks to?

Friday April 18 2008 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. Who or what agencies planned National Healthcare Decisions Day? Following is an excerpt from their website:

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be…. The NHDD Initiative is a collaborative effort of national, state and community organizations committed to ensuring that all adults with decision-making capacity in the United States have the information and opportunity to communicate and document their healthcare decisions.

Also, read the NHDD FAQ and link to a 2007 NHDD Concept Paper. This group has created an easily accessible group of documents for assisting those interested in creating Advanced Healthcare Directives on the NHDD “Resources” page.

National Library of Medicine‘s excellent consumer health source, MedlinePLUS.gov, also provides a lengthy list of sources or providers of timely information for Advanced Care Directives and also: End of Life Issues.

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