It’s Your Decision, So Make One


April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. The intent is to get Americans across the country to make their future health care decisions known to family, friends, and health care providers. Regardless of your age or current health, please be sure to share your wishes and complete your advance directive, because, YOUR DECISIONS MATTER.

One of the documents you should consider creating this weekend is an advanced directive. It’s a legal document that tells your loved ones and doctors who you wish to make medical decisions for you, if you are ever not able to tell us what you want for yourself. It can also tell us what treatments you would want or not want at that time. We encourage you to complete an advance directive while they are here in the hospital or before a health crisis. Today would be a great day to do this. Laws can differ state-to-state, so LIVESTRONG Guidebook.


  1. Kathleen D. says:

    FYI: I noticed that your website says there’s a small fee for the “Five Wishes” document (It’s usually $5), but I know it is FREE in MA (at least if you get it at a hospital). For example, Massachusetts General Hospital has the form readily available at the Kenneth B. Schwartz Family Resource Center in the main building; the Cancer Resource Center in the Yawkey Building; and Radiation Oncology in the Cox Building, among other locations. If you don’t see them at a hospital where you are/were treated, you can ask a social worker. Suggestions: if you are ill, it can help to have family or friends who aren’t ill fill out their form at the same time, so sit together and make it a ‘date’; if you make a mistake on your form, it’s better to put one line through the part you want to change and initial and date it than to use whiteout or to blackout your error. Although I generally don’t promote Wikipedia, it does have an easy-to-follow, seemingly accurate explanation of what “Five Wishes” is, and a link at the bottom of the page that takes you right to the document so you can see and/or print it. Here’s the link:

    If you want a different option, here’s the link to NCI’s Advance Directives page:

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this information.

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