RICHMOND, Va.–LAWFUEL – Legal Announcements –For the first time ever, over 70 national organizations, including AARP, the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association, have joined forces to promote public awareness of the benefits of signing a healthcare advance directive during the inaugural National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16, 2008. National Healthcare Decisions Day was organized by McGuireWoods LLP health care lawyer Nathan A. Kottkamp.
Throughout the day there will be events to increase awareness of the need to sign a healthcare advance directive, also known as a “living will” or a “healthcare power of attorney,” at hospitals, physicians’ offices and community centers in every state, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, as well as internationally on U.S. Army and Navy bases. Organizers will provide information and tools on how to execute written advance directives in accordance with applicable state laws.
“Our hope is that the events planned will encourage many more Americans to sign an advance directive,” said Nathan A. Kottkamp, Founder and Chair of National Healthcare Decisions Day and an attorney with McGuireWoods LLP.
Kottkamp launched National Healthcare Decisions Day with the help of dozens of healthcare and legal professionals across the country after serving on four hospital ethics committees. “I witnessed families forced to make difficult medical decisions for loved ones incapable of communicating their wishes, due to an accident, a stroke, or some other severe medical crisis. In many cases, the anguish and uncertainty that surrounds such decisions can be avoided if the patient had signed an advance directive,” Kottkamp explained. “Yet, only a small minority of Americans has signed one.”
For more information on National Healthcare Decisions Day and a list of all of the organizations involved, go to http://www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org. The website also provides free advance directive forms for every state and tools to assist on making healthcare choices.
McGuireWoods LLP is a full-service law firm with approximately 900 lawyers in 17 offices in the United States, Europe and Central Asia providing legal counsel to clients around the world. For more information, visit www.mcguirewoods.com.