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Make your voice heard during National Healthcare Decisions Day 2022

Download and complete free forms through The Missouri Bar

If you were in the hospital and you couldn’t speak, who would speak for you? If you weren’t able to swallow or breathe, what would happen to you? We all hope to be able to communicate until the end, but it doesn’t always happen that way. 

No one likes talking about death or end-of-life matters, but this April 16, The Missouri Bar is encouraging individuals to do just that. It’s all part of National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), created in 2008 by Virginia lawyer Nathan Kottkamp. 

NHDD exists to inspire, educate, and empower the public and medical providers about the importance of advance care planning. To help Missourians express their wishes regarding health care – and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes – The Missouri Bar provides free Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Health Care Directive forms.  

“As tough as it might be, it’s important to think through and make known your end-of-life care wishes,” said 2021-22 Missouri Bar President John Grimm. “Our forms are here to help you make your choices clear in an organized and legal manner.”

These forms allow individuals to record their choices for care, as well as those they would like to carry them out. Those filling out a form will share their wishes regarding life-prolonging procedures, organ donation, and more.   

But NHDD doesn’t end there. Communication is a key part of having health care wishes carried out, and part of that means sharing your wants with those you love. While these discussions might seem awkward or uncomfortable, they are incredibly important. The Conversation Project, which now manages NHDD across the country, has a variety of resources to help make the talk a little less tough. Ultimately, making your health care wishes known early can prevent challenges for your loved ones in the future.  

To learn more about National Healthcare Decisions Day and how you can complete your Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Health Care Directive form, go to MissouriLawyersHelp.org.