April 16th is National Healthcare Decisions Day!
This nationally recognized day exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.
How do you plan in advance for care?
Right to Self-Determination
In the United States, each of us have a right to self-determination regarding medical decisions. That right is reflected in federal law and rules for Medicare/Medicaid, but also clearly articulated in New Mexico’s Uniform Healthcare Decisions Act that was enacted in 1995. It gives us the right to make decisions about what medical care we want, when and where to have it, and if and when to stop that care.
And if we become incapacitated the law provides that we can express these desires ahead of time through an advance directive and also appoint a health care decision-maker (proxy, surrogate, or health care power of attorney) to represent us if we are unable to do so for ourselves.
These are powerful rights that afford us the opportunity to avoid unnecessary/unwanted suffering at the end of life and help us to have the kind of death we seek. Take action. Fill out or update your advance directives today!