Dec 4 2013

New Jersey sets the mark

Last week, two of New Jersey’s healthcare leaders took the opportunity of the holiday season to remind the state’s residents of the importance of discussing medical wishes and advance care planning. Mary E. Dowd, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, and Betsy Ryan, president and CEO of the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA), are encouraging New Jerseyites to not only think about what options they would prefer in a healthcare crisis, but also to discuss their wishes for medical care preferences – in a more general way – with their families, to avoid stress and uncertainty later.

MyDirectives couldn’t agree more with Dowd and Ryan. We believe everyone over the age of 18 should digitize their voice just in case of an emergency. Waiting until a crisis to occur makes no sense for anyone – the person, his/her family, doctors or nurses. We heard a major health industry expert say once, “Asking a doctor to do the right thing for a stranger is like asking a pilot to fly a plane without a flight plan.  Sure there are lots of things we can do, but where does this person want to go?”

New Jersey is asking its citizens to create a good quality advance directive or, in certain cases, a POLST (which New Jersey uses to stand for Practitioners Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) document. At MyDirectives, we make creating and storing your directive completely free to consumers. We also offer people with a POLST (or MOLST, or MOST, depending on where you live) to attach that document to your MyDirectives account so it can be found 24/7, anywhere in the world.

The 21st century gives us the opportunity to make sure our voices can be heard anytime, anywhere. We should settle for nothing less. We applaud New Jersey and encourage other state government, business and civic leaders to encourage people to talk about their medical care wishes with their families and to take the step to set up advance medical directives. After all, nobody can speak better for you than you!

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