Healthcare Decisions Days at Copley – April 13 & 14, 8:00-10:00am

Who will speak for you when you can no longer speak for yourself? A question that startles as much as it asks.  Members of Copley Hospital’s Ethics Committee are leading an effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making as part of the National Healthcare Decisions Day.  On April 13 and 14 from 8:00-10:00am for patients, families and visitors, representatives from the committee including Copley’s Chaplain Avril Cochran will provide information as well as be available to answer your questions as they relate to Advance Directives and documenting your wishes.  The effort will educate people about planning for future health care decision making and end of life care, sometimes called Advanced Directives.

“It’s important for people to have conversations with those close to them about what they value if they should become critically ill and unable to make their own decisions,” says Chaplain Cochran. Through planning and conversation, each of us have a say in what those final contours will be. Sometimes the greatest act of love is to listen and to speak our trust.

Cochran explains that if the information is not on hand at a critical juncture of care, clinical staff can be left in the lurch. “We are scrambling to find out what a patient’s wishes really are,” explains Dr. Neil Nigro, one of Copley’s Emergency Department doctors. If the patient cannot speak, there a change that the clinical staff will end up performing unwanted procedures, according to Dr. Nigro. “It would be ideal if every patient had Advanced Directives in place – certainly every patient who is elderly or approaching the end of life,” he says.

Advance Directives are a living document, explains Avril. “The documents aren’t a one and done decision, they can be changed whenever the need arises – you always have control and the ability to change your plan at any time,” she says

Mark your calendars for Healthcare Decisions Day, April 13 or 14 from 8:00-10:00am in the hospital’s main lobby.  In addition to information, Copley staff and committee members will be available to answer your questions, provide the documents and assist as necessary.