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US Supreme Court rules on Trump's tax returns; Houston mayor cancels Texas GOP's in-person convention; Louisiana has elections; and DC council gives people incarcerated for felonies the right to vote.

Healthcare Decisions Day: Time for Granite Staters to "Put It in Writing"

April 16, 2009

Concord, NH - Most Granite Staters won't leave home without their cell phones, day planners or to-do lists, but fewer than 70 percent have their own end-of-life health care wishes documented. Today is National Healthcare Decisions Day - a time to focus on those difficult decisions and discussion, says James Conway, End-of-Life Subcommittee chairman at the Health Care Quality and Cost Council.

"We hear many, many stories from families and from patients who are frustrated over the lack of having these conversations."

Dr. Mark Yurkofsky, medical director of hospital programs for Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, says, not only should every adult designate another adult to help make medical decisions in the event he or she becomes incapacitated, but doctors should also play an integral role in discussions about end-of-life care.

"It's important that physicians normalize the discussion of an advanced directive as something that's part of everybody's routine health care education."

Health care advisors say it's important for patients to be clear about what their wishes are and to make sure their decisions are documented using advanced directives to ensure better quality care. Advance directive forms are available free of charge and provide a clear explanation of the health care agent's responsibilities, and simple directions on how to fill out and sign them.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - NH