Plan for the treatment you want in a medical crisis
Published: June 18, 2019
We tend to think of
accidents, illness and death as a concern for older adults only, yet, of all
age groups, people under age 30 have the most auto accidents and highest rate
of fatal accidental injury.
No matter if we're 18
or 88, at some point in our lives during a medical crisis roughly 50% of us will
likely be unable to speak for ourselves. We might be unconscious, sedated or
too ill to make treatment decisions. We'll need another way, or another person,
to communicate our medical treatment wishes.
Are you and everyone
in your household over age 18 ready for a medical emergency? Advance care
planning helps you get ready. It is the process of thinking about, talking
about and documenting your healthcare wishes and priorities before a crisis occurs.
To help Sonoma County residents prepare, My Care My
Plan: Speak Up, Sonoma County is hosting a free advance care planning workshop,
Who Will Speak for You If You Can't Speak
for Yourself?, on Tuesday, July 16, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., at the Sonoma County Dept. of Health Services, 1450 Neotomas Ave., Santa Rosa.
Participants consider the type of care they
would want in a health crisis, and how to make their wishes known through
thoughtful advance care planning and clear, written, advance health care
directives. They’ll learn how to choose someone to speak for you and how to talk
with loved ones and healthcare providers about medical treatment wishes,
options and treatment tradeoffs.
There are three ways to register
for the free workshop: online at MyCareMyPlanSonoma.org under Events,
by phone at (707) 565-5950, or by email to email@example.com.
"We when we talk about
advance directives, most of us think of older patients," says Brad Stuart,
M.D., Chief Medical Officer of the Washington,
D.C. Coalition to Transform Advanced Care. "But it's people who don't have advance directives
who make headlines because of conflicts about their medical care. Just think of
Karen Ann Quinlan and Terry Schaivo. They were young and healthy when
emergencies struck them down.”
He adds, “It's those situations
that illustrate why it's important that every adult write down his or her
preferences—so YOU decide how you want to be treated, not the courts."
MSW Taylor McCandless, a medical
social worker for Healing At Home, a division of Hospice by the Bay, also warns
parents that their legal status regarding medical care for their children
changes when a child turns 18.
"Many parents aren't aware
that they become 'legal strangers,' meaning they no longer have automatic
access to that child's health information," she says. "I had each of
my children complete an advance health directive before they launched to
college and travels to make sure we wouldn't encounter any excruciating
barriers to information if there were a medical emergency."
Stuart and McCandless will lead the July
workshop, designed for anyone over age 18.
My Care, My Plan: Speak Up, Sonoma
County’s (MyCareMyPlanSonoma.org) vision is for every adult in the county to
become educated and empowered to express his/her wishes about end-of-life care,
to have the opportunity to do so, and to have their wishes honored in a medical
This is an initiative of the Committee for Healthcare
Improvement and Sonoma County Health Action, which mobilizes community partnerships
and resources to achieve equity and improve health for all in Sonoma County.
MCMP is a collaborative of organizations and individuals from the private,
public, nonprofit and volunteer sectors, including local healthcare and social
service organizations and other community partners.
Free Workshop on Advance Care
Who Will Speak for You If You Can't Speak for Yourself?
Tuesday, July 16, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Sonoma County Dept. of Health Services, 1450 Neotomas Ave., Santa Rosa Reservations: MyCareMyPlanSonoma.org / (707) 565-5950 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Montgomery | Communications Manager
County Human Services Department
565-8085 (office) | (707) 495-6999 (cell)