Minneapolis (10-09-02): -- The American Bar Association, American Medical Association and the Health Resources and Services Administration have designated October 20-26th as National Health Care Decisions Week. This is a public education initiative to promote awareness on the topics of health care advance directives, and organ and tissue donation.
A Health Care Directive is a written and executed legal document relating to health care. It can serve the purpose of naming an agent to make health care decisions on a person’s behalf should he or she become unable to do so. The document can also be used to give health care instructions to guide others in making health care decisions for an individual.
As part of this effort, the Hennepin County Bar Association is making available its Health Care Directive booklet. Booklets are available for $2.00 each which includes shipping. Please contact Deb Stender at 612-752-6618 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Any competent person 18 years of age or older can execute a Health Care Directive. Health Care Directives are not only for older persons; younger people may also become incompetent to make or communicate their wishes as a result of an accident or disease.
You do not need a lawyer to prepare a Health Care Directive but there are circumstances where it may be helpful. If you need assistance finding an attorney contact the bar association’s Lawyer Referral Service at 612-752-6666.
The Hennepin County Bar Association, the largest of Minnesota's 21 county bar associations and representing almost half of Minnesota's attorneys, is a private, non-profit organization which provides or supports many free or low-cost services to the public including: Volunteer Lawyers Network which provide free legal advice for low income people; TEL-LAW, a legal information message system available at no charge in local calling areas; Lawyer Referral and Information Services; public education programming; and financial grants through the Bar Foundation