Free Legal Help on Advance Health Care Directives
Free assistance as part of National Healthcare Decisions Day will be available on Tuesday, April 16, 2013 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at William Mitchell College of Law (Kelley Board Room, 825 Summit Ave., Saint Paul, MN) and from 1:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Minnesota MS Society (200 12th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN).
The William Mitchell College of Law and Hamline Health Law Institute are taking part in the sixth annual National Healthcare Decisions Day, in which health care providers, attorneys, and others will participate in a national effort to highlight the importance of advance health care decision-making. Law students and volunteer attorneys will be providing information about your right to control your own health care, and offer free assistance to anyone who wants to complete an advance health care directive.
A healthcare directive legally documents a person’s healthcare wishes so family and physicians will know exactly what medical procedures should or should not take place if the person is unable to communication. A health care directive also permits you to name a person or persons to make these decisions for you in the event that you cannot. It takes less than an hour to complete the form, which may include preferences about special end-of-life treatments and pain management, directions about funeral arrangements and organ donation, and more.
Bring your family! Bring your friends! Bring yourself! We look forward to seeing everyone!
National Healthcare Decisions Day – FAQ
What is it?
Nathan Kottkamp, an attorney from Richmond, Virginia, established National Healthcare Decisions Day six years ago. The purpose of the event is to educate the public about the various healthcare decisions one must make. Specifically, NHDD is a day where attorneys come together and assist the community in formulating Healthcare Directives, free of charge.
What is a Healthcare Directive?
A healthcare directive is a legal document, prepared by patients in advance of the need for healthcare services, which directs the healthcare provider as to what the patient does or does not want if he or she becomes unable to make decisions. Advance directives are often supplemented by durable powers of attorneys, living wills and organ donation directions.
What form do you use?
We have a few different forms available, but we primarily encourage people to use the Five Wishes Form. The five wishes is the most popular healthcare directive form in the U.S. because of its general acceptance and readability. It meets the legal requirements of 42 states and is useful in 50 states. To learn more about the Five Wishes form, visit http://www.agingwithdignity.org/five-wishes.php. [If people are interested in expediting the process, the form is also available online if they would like to go over the form by themselves, and then come in on April 16 to review their document with a lawyer and have the form notarized].
Will there be Healthcare Directives available in other languages?
Though we cannot guarantee that there will be an attorney on site that will be able to speak a certain language, we will have healthcare directive forms available in a wide variety of languages. If you can tell us in advance that there will be a predominate need for healthcare directives in a certain language, we can likely accommodate that!
Will the attorneys be offering other free legal services as well?
No. NHDD is dedicated to healthcare directives specifically. But there will always be attorneys on site to whom participants can get contact information from for other questions they may have in the future.
Is this only for the elder community? Why should I do it?
This is a very important document for EVERYONE to make. Although popular and very important in the elder law community, some of the most tragic cases are those of young people who were unprepared and are in an accident, or experience some. When you are young, you tend to not talk about these things so people are far more clueless as to what you would want in positions where you are unable to speak for yourself. The greatest gift you can give to the ones you loved is a well-written healthcare directive so when put in the position, there is no argument or controversy as to what healthcare decisions you want.
More info: National Healthcare Decisions Day events
Date: April 16,2013
Time: 9:00:00 AM - 7:00:00 PM
Contact: Health Law Institute, Kari Winter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Location: William Mitchell College of Law and Minnesota MS Society
Sponsor: National Healthcare Decisions Day