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Updated Release with Governor Corzine's proclamation designating April 16, 2009 as National Health Care Decisions Day
In recognition of National Health Care Decisions Day, Health and Senior Services Commissioner Heather Howard today urged
“The best way to retain control of your health in a situation where you are unable to communicate your wishes is to have a written record of your future health care treatment preferences,” Commissioner Howard said. “We encourage residents to prepare an advance directive, which states their health care choices, while they are still healthy and able to make such decisions.”
Formal advance directives are documents written in advance of serious illness that express your choices for health care, or name someone to make those choices, if you become unable to make decisions.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, fewer than 50 percent of the severely or terminally ill patients studied had an advance directive in their medical record. A clearly written directive can alleviate some of the burdens of decision making that are often experienced by family members, friends and health care providers.
An overwhelming majority of the public supports laws that give patients the right to decide whether they want to be kept alive through medical treatment, the
National Healthcare Decisions Day is designed to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding health care through conversations and the completion of advance directives. The National Healthcare Decisions Day coalition includes national, state and community organizations. This marks the second year that National Healthcare Decisions Day is being held to bring more attention to end-of-life decision-making.
For more information on obtaining an advance directive, please visit: http://nj.gov/health/healthfacilities/documents/ltc/advance_directives.pdf
To learn more about National Health Care Decisions Day, please visit:
To view Governor Corzine's proclamation that proclaims April 16, 2009 as National Health Care Decisions Day please visit: http://nj.gov/health/commiss/documents/national_healthcare_decisions_day09.pdf
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360