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Jackson Hospital Encourages Advance Directives as Holiday Gifts

Hospital news | Monday, December 15, 2008

PEACE During the Holidays

The holidays can be a very special time of year, but they can also be a very stressful and emotional time for those who have lost loved ones. No one can predict the onset of a sudden illness or an accident that may leave a loved one unable to communicate. This can be a complicated situation for family members who are left to make decisions for that love one.

In an effort to alleviate some of that unnecessary stress in an already overwhelming situation, the Jackson Hospital Palliative Care team has organized a PEACE (Patient Education and Caring: End of Life) educational event for employees and the public, highlighting advance directives. The objective is to give family members an advance directive as a Christmas gift. PEACE is a program sponsored by the American College of Physicians.

The advance directives are easy to complete by answering"yes" or " no"questions to your wishes about medical treatment in the event you become too sick to speak for yourself. The form may be used in the State of Alabama by anyone 19 years of age or older. There are two components, the Living Will and the Health Care Proxy. The Living Will makes your wishes known and the Healthcare Proxy identifies a specific person you would like to make medical decisions for you in the event you are unable to communicate. It does not have to be notarized, just witnessed by someone other than family.

This symbolic event will be held on Wednesday, December 17, from 10am to 12 noon in the lobby of the main hospital. This is a great way to raise awareness about the importance of sharing your final wishes with your loved ones. It is often something that gets overlooked, but can save much pain and heartache.

For more information about this event, please contact Peter Frohmader at 334-293-8981.

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