Thursday, December 18, 2014

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It's National Health Care Decisions Day, who will speak for you?

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: It's National Health Care Decisions Day, who will speak for you?
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Health experts this week continued to urge patients to find someone who will speak for them when they can't speak for themselves as part of National Health Care Decisions Day.

One of the most important forms is a health care proxy. That's the person who will make medical decisions when a patient no longer is able. It can be anyone over the age of 18.

Experts say patients are not locked in to what they choose today, but it's important at least to start the conversation.

"It's not just one day out of the year. The conversation can be at anytime. The important thing is to have the conversation again before you're in a crisis situation and to have the conversation with your family, not just your proxy," said Susan Chappuis, a certified nurse educator and an associate professor St Joseph's College of Nursing.

Another form to consider is a living will, which expresses end of life wishes more specifically.

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