Your advance care directive is done, now what?

07/13/2010

Don’t forget to file your document with your provider

GREEN BAY – The count is in. Bellin Health distributed more than 4,200 advance care directive documents during a two-month community outreach effort spotlighting National Healthcare Decisions Day.

“The main purpose of this effort was to educate the public about the importance of discussing health care choices and putting their health care wishes in writing using an advance care directive,” said Kari Barrett, service excellence coordinator for Bellin Health. An advance care directive is a document that clearly spells out the kind of treatment you want, and don’t want, if you are unable to express your wishes. 

“By specifying your wishes in writing, you can be assured that your loved ones will never be placed in the position of having to make decisions about your end of life care. Plus it provides your health care provider with a clear direction for treatment.”

If you’re one of the thousands who picked up an advance care directive, but haven’t filled out the document and filed it with your health care provider or hospital for your records, now’s the time to do so.

“Having a document is great, but it won’t help you in an emergency situation if it’s not filed with your physician and hospital," explains Amy James, MD, director of Bellin Health’s Palliative Care Program. “Now’s the time to fill it out, discuss your wishes with your family and then have the completed document added to your medical records.”

If you don’t have an advanced health care directive and would like more information about it, please visit www.bellin.org or call (920) 445-7373.