October 08, 2004
Philadelphia Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division and Probate & Trust Law Section Participate in National Health Care Decisions WeekAs part of National Health Care Decisions Week, the Philadelphia Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division, in cooperation with the Probate & Trust Law Section, is sponsoring a program on the topics of health care advance directives (living wills), health care powers of attorney and organ and tissue donation. The program, which takes place on Friday, Oct. 22, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Interac Center for Older Adults, 6012 Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia, is free and open to the public.
The program will consist of two parts. First, speakers, including a lawyer, doctor, organ transplant recipient and member of the clergy, will discuss the legal, medical, personal and religious issues concerning health care advance directives, health care powers of attorney and organ and tissue donation. Second, lawyers will be available for one-on-one discussions of specific legal questions. Health care advance directives and health care powers of attorney are written documents that give instructions and specify preferences concerning medical treatment and appoint substitute decision-makers in the event of later incapacity. These documents, or a separate document, can also express the decision to be an organ and tissue donor in the event of death.
Initiated by the American Bar Association's Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law, National Health Care Decisions Week is a collaboration of the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the American Medical Association, the National Medical Association and the National Bar Association. It is designed to raise public awareness of the need to plan for health care decisions.
Currently, only a small percentage of the adult population makes known their wishes about end-of-life health care decisions, and few potential organ and tissue donors ever inform anyone of their desire to donate. One of the principal goals of National Health Care Decisions Week is to increase the percentage of Americans who have engaged in advance health care planning.
At the program, Stephen H. Frishberg, Esq. of Fineman Krekstein & Harris, P.C. will speak about the laws concerning health care advance directives, health care powers of attorney and organ and tissue donation. Christopher A. Haines, M.D., M.A., Instructor in the Department of Family Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University, will speak about the medical issues. And, Ed Shanahan, a kidney and pancreas transplant recipient, will speak on the personal issues relating to organ donation. For more information about the program, contact Michael Hayes at (215) 772-7211 or Matthew Rosin at (215) 988-3353.