HONOLULU — In recognition of the sixth annual National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16, Compassion & Choices Hawaii will offer a series of free informational events during the week of April 14 – 20 to help Hawaii residents begin thinking about, and acting on, their own advance care planning. Events include appearances at the Waimanalo Health Center and the Hawaii State Capitol, as well as several “advance directive parties” hosted in private homes. The events are as follows:
Monday, April 15, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Waimanalo Health Center
Compassion & Choices Hawaii trained volunteers will be onsite to talk to clients and their families, and pass out free “Good to Go” advance care planning toolkits and Hawaii state advance directive forms.
Tuesday, April 16, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Hawaii State Capitol Rotunda
Compassion & Choices Hawaii trained volunteers will be available to talk to the public about the need for advance care planning. Free “Good to Go” toolkits, Hawaii state advance directive forms and other Compassion & Choices Hawaii information will be available.
April 14 – April 20
Advance Directive Parties
Throughout this week, members of the Compassion & Choices Leadership Council will host “advance directive parties” for family and friends in their homes. Attendees will receive the appropriate information to prepare an advance directive, along with assistance in filling out the forms if desired. Volunteers have planned four parties to date, in Kaneohe, Kailua, Waimanalo and Honolulu. If members of the public are interested in hosting a party or getting more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those interested in volunteering with Compassion & Choices Hawaii may contact Skye Morrison at 808-339-1608 or email@example.com.
About National Healthcare Decisions Day
National Healthcare Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. It is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare, and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. This year it is held on April 16.
The U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, in a 2003 article, “Advance Care Planning: Preferences for Care at the End of Life,” found the following:
§ Less than 50 percent of the severely or terminally ill patients studied had an advance directive in their medical record.
§ Only 12 percent of patients with an advance directive had received input from their physician in its development.
§ Between 65 and 76 percent of physicians whose patients had an advance directive were not aware that it existed.
In 2006, the Pew Research published More Americans Discussing – and Planning – End-of-Life Treatment which stated:
§ 42% of Americans have had a friend or relative suffer from a terminal illness or coma in the last five years, and for a majority of these people and 23% of the general public, the issue of withholding life-sustaining treatment came up.
§ An overwhelming majority of the public supports laws that give patients the right to decide whether they want to be kept alive through medical treatment.
§ By more than eight-to-one (84% to 10%), the public approves of laws that let terminally ill patients make decisions about whether to be kept alive through medical treatment.
About Compassion & Choices Hawaii
Compassion & Choices Hawaii is the local affiliate of the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit organization working to improve care and expand choice at the end of life. It provides expert consultation, advice, information and emotional support for patients and families, as well as information and medical expertise to participating physicians and other medical providers. All services are confidential and free of charge. For more information or to request services call 800-247-7421 or visit www.compassionandchoices.org/hawaii.