STATE BAR OF WISCONSIN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2012
State Bar of Wisconsin
Your Tax Returns Are Ready, But Is the Rest of Your Life in
Order? Mark Healthcare Decisions Day by Starting Important Dialogue with
Madison, WI – With taxes due next week, chances are you have been
compiling your receipts, examining your income, and taking stock of the
past year. But looking forward and planning ahead for the end of your
life can be just as critical to you and your family's financial and
emotional well-being. That's why the State Bar is marking National
Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) by offering free electronic consumer
guides until April 23.
Free copies of A Gift to Your Family: Planning Ahead for Future
Health Needs can be downloaded to help you jumpstart important
personal conversations surrounding end-of-life decisions. The guide
offers practical insights on a range of issues such as power of attorney
for health care, living wills, and organ and tissue donation. The guide
also includes state forms to help you put your wishes in writing.
"Just as with taxes, avoiding end-of-life issues will not make
them go away. It's important to make these decisions now in
consultation with your family and your legal counsel," said Elder
Law Section Board Member Ben Adams. "If you want your wishes to be
met at the end of your life, now is the time to consider future medical
care and organ donation."
Under Wisconsin law, competent adults have the right to accept or
refuse medical treatment, and the right to be an organ and tissue donor.
An estimated 80 percent of Wisconsin residents, including 50 percent of
those with severe or terminal illnesses, have not completed an advance
directive documenting their preferences about issues surrounding
end-of-life decisions. April 16 is the fifth National Healthcare
Decisions Day. Governor Walker has also officially proclaimed
April 16 as Healthcare Decisions Day in Wisconsin.
The 28-page guide, now in its sixth printing, started production 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. Since 2000, the State Bar has distributed more than 500,000
planning guides to hospitals, clinics, lawyers, and the public.
Free copies can be accessed below from now until April 23:
# # #
The State Bar of Wisconsin is the mandatory professional
association, created by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, for attorneys who
hold a Wisconsin law license. With more than 23,000 members, the State
Bar aids the courts in improving the administration of justice, provides
continuing legal education for its members to help them maintain their
expertise, and assists Wisconsin lawyers in carrying out community
service initiatives to educate the public about the legal system and the
value of lawyers. For more information, visit www.wisbar.org.