Blogging for National Healthcare Decisions Day: A Rally for Our Loved Ones and Ourselves

As part of National Health Care Decisions Day (NHDD), the Wing of Zock is participating in a blog rally to help those across America have conversations about advanced care with their loved ones. We have teamed up with NHDD to participate in the rally and today’s post is authored by Nathan Kottkamp, the Founder and Chair of NHDD. Please check out the Wing of Zock’s feature on advance care planning on the NHDD site. 

Are you one of the 80 percent of Americans who haven’t completed an Advanced Directive yet? We’ve all struggled with how to get started on this topic – and there are plenty of reasons why we resist:

  • Fear
  • Uncertainty
  • Not sure how to start
  • Don’t know what’s legally binding
  • Worried I’ll hurt someone’s feelings
  • Just haven’t had the time to do it

That’s why we recognize April 16 as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) – a movement designed to inspire, educate, and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning.  Put another way, NHDD is a day for all adults to mark their calendars, have the talk, and document the talk with an advance directive.

Regardless of your own reasons not acting already, you might find your way to start the conversation by watching this awesome three and a half minute video at It’s proof that it takes only a few minutes to start a conversation with your loved ones about advance care planning—a conversation that affects people for a lifetime.

After the goosebumps settle down from watching the video, here are some specific things you can do for NHDD:

  • Lead by example. Schedule time with your loved ones (on or before April 16) to “Have the Talk” and complete your own advance directive. There are many tools, including free forms, you can use to walk you through the process and make your wishes known; access them through the NHDD Public Resources page.
  • Encourage your loved ones and friends to learn more about advance directives and to complete their advance directives. You can forward this link:
  • Share your advance directive with your healthcare providers and make sure it is on file in the event it is needed.

Already had the conversation with your loved ones, but want to do more? Today there is a blog rally for NHDD, where bloggers can engage in the conversation through NHDD’s Facebook and Twitter pages via the live stream.

Please use and share the resources available through the NHDD website and encourage and empower us all to make our healthcare decisions now for whenever they will need to be known.

Nathan Kottkamp is the Founder and Chair of NHDD and is partner at McGuireWoods LLP, where he concentrates in health law, including Medicare, Medicaid, and managed care as well as other elements of health care law.