April 16, 2008

Wyden Reminds Americans to Honor Health Care Decisions Day

Senator encourages all to complete written advance directives

Washington DC - In an effort to encourage more Americans to discuss important end-of-life medical decisions with their loved ones, U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) reminded his constituents and colleagues to join him in observing April 16th as National Health Care Decisions Day. Earlier this month, the Senate passed a resolution sponsored by Wyden and U.S. Senators Mike Enzi (R-WY), Roger Wicker (R-MS), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) recognizing the importance of National Health Care Decisions Day.

"Nobody is eager to have these kind of tough discussions, but nobody should make their family go through the pain of making end-of-life decisions for them when it's too late for them to weigh in," said Wyden. "One way to make sure that doesn't happen to you is to sit down and discuss your wishes with your family now, while you're able. That's what Health Care Decisions Day is all about."

Nathan Kottkamp, Chair of National Healthcare Decisions Day, has reported that fewer than 25 percent of Americans have an advance directive. National Health Care Decisions Day encourages health care, civic, educational, religious and other organizations to urge the public to use advance directives and asks all Americans, including members of Congress to prepare advance directives for themselves.

On April 16, 2008, organizations will team up across the country to bring attention to this vital issue and to help individuals execute written advance directives in accordance with state laws.
More information about Health Care Decisions Day, including a list of participating organizations, can be found at: www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org.