On Monday, Providence St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula will present National Healthcare Decision Day, where individuals can share their wishes and complete their healthcare directives.

Linda Bierbach, RN and Palliative Care and Advance Care Planning Coordinator, said the event called ‘Your Choices Matter’, will start at 7:30 a.m. and continue until 3:00 p.m. at the St. Patrick Hospital Conference Rooms A and B.

“Across the country, there are healthcare facilities that are making available to patients and people in the community information about how to complete advance directives,” said Bierbach. “An advance directive is intended to help people make their medical choices known by using tools like living wills, and powers of attorney for healthcare before an emergency or crisis presents. This is not just for older people, who have already been thinking about these issues, but for everyone over the age of 18.”

Bierbach said the correct terminology will help to reduce confusion in a time of heath crisis.

“The real important piece of the puzzle is using very specific language about what something like ‘heroic measures’ means,” she said. “What we’re talking about going into the intensive care unit with a breathing machine, and for how long we would want that, and at what point in time would doctors and nurses, caregivers and chaplains say, ‘when do we turn this machine off and you might not survive?”

Bierbach said there will be refreshments available, as well as prize drawings for those who attend.

The event is free to the public.

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