National Healthcare Decisions Day

Published by: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization

National Healthcare Decisions Day is on Saturday, April 16, 2016 and is dedicated to inspire, educate and empower the public about the importance of advance care planning.

Advance care planning involves making future healthcare decisions that include much more than deciding what care you would or would not want; it starts with expressing preferences, clarifying values, identifying health care preferences and selecting an agent to express healthcare decisions if you are unable to speak for yourself.
National Healthcare Decisions Day is a collaborative effort of national, state and community organizations committed to ensuring that all adults with decision-making capacity in the United States have the information and resources to communicate and document their future healthcare decisions.
In honor of National Healthcare Decisions Day, NHPCO encourages everyone to:

Have A Conversation

Advance care planning starts with talking with your loved ones, your healthcare providers, and even your friends- all are important steps to making your wishes known. These conversations will relieve loved ones and healthcare providers of the need to guess what you would want if you are ever facing a healthcare or medical crisis.

Complete Your Advance Directive

“Advance Directives” are legal documents (Living Will and Healthcare Power of Attorney) that allow you to plan and make your own end-of-life wishes known in the event that you are unable to communicate. To learn more, download the “Understanding Advance Directives” brochure now.

Engage Others in Advance Care Planning

Please pass along brochures, information and advance directives to others in your family, workplace and community. Help others have a conversation about advance care planning.

“National Healthcare Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.”

Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice encourages Sussex and Warren County, NJ and Pike County, PA residents to visit their offices in Newton, NJ and Milford, PA on the week days of April 11-15 and April 18-22 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to pick up a National Health Care Decisions folder to assist with this this very important issue. For additional questions, please call Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice at 973-383-0115 or 800-882-1117.

Julia Quinlan, mother of Karen, reflects on 40-year milestone

N.J. Supreme Court decision on March 31, 1976, changed course of global medical ethics

Published in the Daily Record, April 3, 2016

Forty years ago on March 31, a landmark New Jersey Supreme Court decision regarding a young woman from Roxbury altered the legal and ethical landscape of healthcare across the country and around the world. Her name was Karen Ann Quinlan, and her tragic circumstance led to the establishment of living will and other rights of hospital patients, including their legal “right to die.”

Quinlan, 21, lapsed into a coma in 1975, allegedly after mixing alcohol with a tranquilizing drug. Once her condition was considered irreversible, her devoutly Catholic parents, Joseph and Julia, asked her doctors at St. Clare’s Hospital to remove her from the respirator that was keeping her alive and put her fate “into God’s hands.”