To the editor:

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been imperative to reflect, discuss and share about our health care wishes to health care providers and loved ones, now more than ever. A health care directive, a written legal document that states your healthcare wishes in the event that you are unable to communicate or make decisions for yourself is a gift from us and our loved ones. Your health care providers and your loved ones will use your completed health care directive to make decisions regarding your care, if in crisis, you cannot make your wishes known. Completing a health care directive assures that in the midst of a medical crisis, you will receive the care you would choose for yourself if you were able to communicate.

The place for conversation around health care wishes needs to begin at the kitchen table and not in the intensive care unit with the people we love. Together we can make these difficult conversations easier. We can make sure that our own wishes and those of our loved ones are expressed and respected by completing a health care directive. This April, let’s make sure that we are in charge of our health care wishes and give the written gift to our loved ones; an advanced health care directive.

The Written Gift, a community led nonprofit in the Alexandria area, is here to support you to start that conversation regarding your health care wishes. We at the Written Gift believe that every adult, over the age of 18 should complete a health care directive. April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. Join us this month of April to promote and advocate for patient centered health care choices. Make an effort to advocate for National Healthcare Decisions Day by completing your health care directive and by making your wishes known.

Preeti Yonjon Feist

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Program Coordinator, www.thewrittengift.com

Alexandria, MN