In observance of National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16, Beaufort Memorial Hospital reminds community members that they can get easy access to state-approved advance directives on the hospital website at www.bmhsc.org. Click on the “Patients and Visitors” section and click on Advance Directives. Copies can be made in English and in Spanish.
For the past seven years, Beaufort Memorial has offered the free service of scanning copies of people’s advance directives and keeping them on file. If you are interested in doing that, please call Jamie McMahon, Director of Admissions, at 522-5097.
National Healthcare Decisions Day is observed annually on April 16 and is aimed at increasing the number of Americans who have completed an advance directive (“living will”), in which they name the person who will make medical decisions for them in the event they are seriously ill and can’t speak for themselves. Experts say only about 20-30 percent of Americans have completed an advance directive, even though all people age 18 and older should have one.
“It’s understandable that people would put off discussing the topic of serious illness and death, but it’s essential to have this family conversation in advance,” Pat Foulger, RN, VP for Quality Services said. “It’s a discussion that should take place in the living room, not in the hospital waiting room when it may be too late.”
Beaufort Memorial has offered access to healthcare advance directives on its website for years, or call the hospital at 522-5171 to have the information mailed.