FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
“A medical decision-maker must have a sense of who you are and what your values are in order to make decisions on your behalf. If you haven’t named someone in a health care power of attorney document and you become incapacitated or incompetent, then it’s likely that a court proceeding will be needed to appoint a medical decision-maker for you. But the court process can be avoided in most cases if you do advance care planning.”—Attorney Ben Adams.
Madison, WI – Finding a medical decision maker, and ensuring that they know you and your values, is the key to successful end-of-life planning. It’s also the core message in a new video produced by the State Bar of Wisconsin to mark National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), which occurs on April 16.
The video, featuring State Bar of Wisconsin Elder Law Section Adviser Ben Adams, also points viewers to the State Bar’s consumer guide, A Gift to Your Family: Planning Ahead for Future Health Needs,which can be downloaded for free through the month of April at WisBar.org. Through April, State Bar members also can purchase print copies of the guide for $1, regularly $4.
For more information contact Attorney Andrea Gage, public relations coordinator, State Bar of Wisconsin. She can be reached at org agage wisbar wisbar agage org, or by phone at (608) 250-6025.
Despite recent gains in public awareness of the need for advance care planning, studies indicate that most Americans have not exercised their right to make decisions about their health care in the event that they cannot speak for themselves. AGift to Your Family offers practical insights on a range of issues surrounding end-of-life decisions, such as power of attorney for health care, living wills, and organ and tissue donation. The guide also includes state forms to help people put their wishes in writing.
“It doesn’t have to be so threatening. It’s just really important to get it done,” said Attorney Adams. “The Gift to Your Family guide on the State Bar website is a perfect place to start.”
The 24-page AGift to Your Family, now in its seventh printing, initially was produced in 2000 through a partnership with the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Medical Society, and Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center. In 2006, the State Bar Communications Committee partnered with the Wisconsin Hispanic Lawyers Association to make the guide available in Spanish. The State Bar has distributed more than 500,000 print planning guides to hospitals, clinics, lawyers, and the public.