April 4, 2012 – 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 healthcare in the event that they cannot speak for themselves, according to National Health Care Decisions Day initiative findings.
“The Health and Elder Law sections are proudly participating in this event along with a broad array of other organizations,” says Ben Adams, Elder Law Section former chair. “We hope that you will participate with us to raise awareness about these important issues across the country.”
In his gubernatorial proclamation, Scott Walker encourages all residents to have important personal conversations with family, friends, and healthcare providers to prepare for eventual end-of-life care and treatment options and to complete reliable advance directives.
In recognition of NHDD, the State Bar is offering free electronic access to its consumer guide, A Gift to Your Family: Planning Ahead for Future Health Needs, from April 9-23. Through April, State Bar members also can purchase print copies of the guide for $1, regularly $4.
Under Wisconsin law, competent adults have the right to control decisions about their future medical care, including the right to accept or refuse treatment, and the right to be an organ and tissue donor. A Gift 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.
Special offers available in April
Free electronic access to A Gift for Your Family is available between April 9 and April 23 at WisBar’s life planning web page.
State Bar members also can purchase print copies of A Gift for Your Family for $1 each, plus tax and shipping, through April 30. To receive this special offer, call the State Bar at (800) 728-7788 or (608) 257-3838. Members should use code CP358 when ordering copies, and for English copies also use GC0033 and Spanish GC0126. When ordering online, members must log in to WisBar to receive the discounted price.
The 28-page A Gift to Your Family, now in its sixth 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 planning guides to hospitals, clinics, lawyers, and the public.