One of the most important components of what the late Rev. Charles Meyer refers to as The Good Death is to get our medical and legal affairs in order long before end-of-life is near. Such a pro-active plan allows us to have our collective faculties around us when making decisions like what kind of medical care we prefer, who we want making decisions for us if we are incapable, where we want to die, etc. Making such decisions is vitally important, yet seldom at the forefront of our minds.
In order to help us with this endeavor, the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s Caring Connections, a leading provider of advance care planning information, and Google Health™ have joined together in a goal of increasing the access to and availability of advance care planning information and resources on line. As J. Donald Shumacher, President and CEO of NHPCO, stated: “How can medical professionals honor your health care wishes and preferences if they don’t know what they are? Advance directives are useless unless they are available during emergency health care situations. Google Health will make these documents accessible on line and will eliminate a huge barrier of access during times of need.”
Through this partnership, users of Google Health can access and download a free, state-specific advance directive and then store the scanned documents securely on line. For more information on accessing this important resource, go to www.google.com/health and create a count for yourself. Then download and print the advance directive form for your particular state at www.caringinfo.org/googlehealth.
Best wishes on your planning. Melody