The Coalition for Compassionate Care of California is proud to announce that April 16 has been declared Healthcare Decisions Day in California. The proclamation was authored by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-19) through Senate Resolution 17.

The resolution urges all Californians to communicate their healthcare preferences and execute an advance healthcare directive. It also urges those who are seriously ill to learn about the Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) program. California Healthcare Decisions Day coincides with a nationwide effort to declare April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day.

“Healthcare Decisions Day exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and healthcare providers about the importance of advance care planning,” said Judy Thomas, JD, CEO of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California.

“As a result of Healthcare Decisions Day, fewer families will have to struggle with making difficult healthcare decisions in the absence of guidance from their loved one, and healthcare providers and facilities will be better equipped to address advance healthcare planning issues before a crisis and be better able to honor patient wishes when the time comes to do so.”

According to a study conducted by the California HealthCare Foundation in 2012, while a large majority of Californians (82%) say it is important to have end-of-life wishes in writing, less than one quarter actually have done so. The same study found that more than half of Californians say they have not talked with a loved one about the care they want at the end of life.

Californians can find information and resources to begin the conversation about advance care planning on the CCCC website, including conversation guides, FAQs, and advance directive forms in a variety of languages.