2005-08-03 / Features

Visiting Nurse Service NY Offers End Of Life Workshop

The Terri Schiavo situation raised consciousness throughout the country that the best way to avoid such contentious situations is to appoint a health care proxy and leave an advance directive before the occasion arises.

The Visiting Nurse Service of New York will offer New Yorkers free workshops throughout the summer to explain the best way to assure the end of life wishes for every individual, whether that be “pulling the plug” or continuing treatment, no matter how hopeless the situation. The workshops, scheduled in four boroughs, will also explain laws specific to New York.

A session is scheduled at the Flushing branch of the Queens Public Library, 41-17 Main Street on Thursday, July 28 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Space is limited, so reservations are suggested. To reserve, call 212-609-1550.

Among the issues to be addressed are:

•What is a health care proxy and whom should you choose in the event you cannot speak for yourself, and why it is important to have one no matter what your age.

•New York and Missouri are the only states that require a completed written form designating a health care proxy who would make decisions for you. A husband or parent is not automatically designated as was the case in Florida in the Schiavo situation.

•The importance of a directive outlining what you would or wouldn’t want to happen to you should you become unconscious or lack mental capacity to make decisions.

Spokespeople from the Visiting Nurse Service of New York are available for comments and interviews.

For more information, visit www.vnsny.org.

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