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National Healthcare Decisions Day

Make sure your healthcare wishes are honored - take the time to learn more about National Healthcare Decisions Day and make your decisions today!
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When it is?
April 16
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United States
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Join us in celebrating National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16! This day is all about making sure that your healthcare wishes are known and respected. It's an opportunity to make sure that your loved ones understand the decisions you would want to make if you were unable to communicate them yourself. The day has been around since 2008, when it was created by a group of organizations dedicated to promoting advance care planning. So let's celebrate this important day by having meaningful conversations with our loved ones and making sure our wishes are heard!

History of National Healthcare Decisions Day

National Healthcare Decisions Day Dates

National Healthcare Decisions Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2006</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Initiation of the Movement</div><div class='timeline-text'>The idea of National Healthcare Decisions Day was conceptualized to promote advance care planning and discussions about end-of-life care.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2008</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Inaugural National Healthcare Decisions Day</div><div class='timeline-text'>The first National Healthcare Decisions Day was observed, founded by multiple organizations in the healthcare field.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2010</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>National Recognition</div><div class='timeline-text'>The U.S. Department of Health and Human acknowledges and spreads awareness about National Healthcare Decisions Day.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2012</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Reach Expands Nationwide</div><div class='timeline-text'>Organizations across all 50 United States participated in the event to encourage people to express their wishes about healthcare decisions.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>2016</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Growing the Movement</div><div class='timeline-text'>Over 1,000 organizations were actively promoting National Healthcare Decisions Day, reaching out to millions of people across the U.S.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Organize a Health Care Fair</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Host a Health Care Fair in your local community to educate individuals about the importance of making health care decisions and to provide resources for those who need help making such decisions.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Volunteer at a Hospital</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Volunteer your time at a local hospital or health care facility. You can offer support to individuals and families who are making difficult health care decisions, and help them understand the implications of their choices.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Write an Article</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Write an article for your local newspaper or website about the importance of National Healthcare Decisions Day and how individuals can make informed decisions about their health care.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Host a Discussion Group</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Gather your friends and family together to discuss the importance of healthcare decisions and to share what they have learned about the process. Having a safe and open space to talk about these matters will help everyone become better informed.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Share Resources Online</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Share resources online with others about how to make informed healthcare decisions. By sharing this information, you can help spread awareness and empower others to make the best choices for themselves.</p></div></div>

Why National Healthcare Decisions Day is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It encourages open communication</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>National Healthcare Decisions Day is an important reminder to have conversations with loved ones about end-of-life care. Exploring medical issues and preferences in advance can help ensure that everyone involved are on the same page when it comes time for a decision to be made.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It reduces stress</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Having advance healthcare directives in place can help take some of the burden off family members when a difficult decision needs to be made. Knowing what you would prefer takes away the guesswork and prevents additional stress during an already trying time.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It ensures your wishes are followed</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>By taking the time to make your preferences clear, you can rest assured that any treatment decisions will be carried out according to your wishes. This way, your medical professionals can focus on providing quality care instead of having to spend extra time examining options or getting input from family members.</p></div></div>

5 Intriguing Facts for National Healthcare Decisions Day

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>One in Five People Have Not Discussed Healthcare Decisions With Anyone</h3><p class='facts-content'>According to a report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, roughly 20% of people have not talked about their healthcare wishes with their spouse, family, or doctor.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Only About One-Third of Adults Have an Advance Directive</h3><p class='facts-content'>An advance directive lays out a person's decisions for healthcare and can help to guide medical professionals and family members. Despite this, only around 33% of adults have filled one out.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Doctors Often Prefer Less Aggressive Treatment for Themselves</h3><p class='facts-content'>A study found that 88.3% of doctors would choose "no-code" or do-not-resuscitate orders for themselves, demonstrating that healthcare choices can vary greatly between individuals.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Many People Change Their Mind About End-of-Life Care</h3><p class='facts-content'>Research has shown that people can change their mind about end-of-life decisions over time, demonstrating the importance of regular conversations about healthcare preferences.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>Conversations Improve Quality of Life for Patients and Families</h3><p class='facts-content'>Studies have shown that when families have conversations about end-of-life care decisions, patients receive care that is consistent with their wishes and family members have a better bereavement period.</p></div></div>

National Healthcare Decisions Day FAQs

When is National Healthcare Decisions Day?

National Healthcare Decisions Day is celebrated on April 16 every year. In 2024 National Healthcare Decisions Day will occur on a Tuesday.

National Healthcare Decisions Day Dates



Apr 16



Apr 16



Apr 16



Apr 16



Apr 16


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