National Healthcare Decisions Day

Cheerful elderly couple sitting in a garden, wearing casual attire, surrounded by beautiful flowers and holding a document related to healthcare decisions..
National healthcare decisions day illustration

Heloooo there! Buckle up, buttercup! As we embark on a journey through time and the Internet, tracing the digital footprint of National Healthcare Decisions Day. Spoiler alert: it's not as boring as it sounds!

When is Healthcare Decisions Day?

It's national healthcare decisions day on the 16th April.

A Peek into the Past

An intriguing digital trail, populated with 5427 mentions, paints us a robust picture of National Healthcare Decisions Day. It's like ruffling through the Internet's memory drawer!

Mark the Calendar

Don your party hats or maybe, your thinking hats? Because the Internet exploded with chatter about this distinctive day most fervently on April 16, 2015. Perhaps there was something that heightened awareness, or maybe the cogs of the Internet just decided to go 'let's bombard everyone with hints about healthcare decisions today'. Well, we'll never know, or will we?

Purpose of the Day

Lest you think this is all about celebrating stethoscopes and bandaids, it's not. It's more about raising awareness around the importance of medical decision-making. It serves as a solemn yet significant reminder for everyone to discuss their healthcare preferences and ensure they are understood and respected. Just imagine, it’s like having a ‘no surprise party’ clause with life.

Trivial Pursuit

For an event revolving around decisions, choices, and health, it naturally piqued the curiosity of a diverse population. Internet yuppies, dedicated doctors, caring partners, or just downright nosy folks (we’re not excluding ourselves here), contributed to push its popularity. So buckle up! This delightful annual excursion down healthcare lane serves as the quintessential reminder that it's not all laughs in the game of life, but the serious moments make the fun ones all the more memorable.

History behind the term 'Healthcare Decisions'


Landmark court case

In 1969, the landmark court case of In re Quinlan set the foundation for healthcare decisions. Karen Ann Quinlan, a 21-year-old woman, fell into a coma after consuming alcohol and drugs. Her parents sought permission to remove her from life support, but the hospital refused without a court order. The court ruled in favor of the Quinlans, stating that individuals have the right to make healthcare decisions, including the right to refuse life-sustaining treatment.


Right to Privacy

In 1976, the Supreme Court case of Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Department of Health expanded on the right to make healthcare decisions. Nancy Cruzan, a young woman in a vegetative state, had her feeding tube removed by her parents to honor her previously expressed wishes. The case reached the Supreme Court, which ruled that competent individuals have a constitutional right to refuse life-sustaining medical treatment.


Patient Self-Determination Act

In 1990, the U.S. Congress passed the Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA). This act requires healthcare facilities receiving Medicare or Medicaid funding to inform patients of their right to make healthcare decisions, including the right to refuse treatment. It also encourages individuals to create advance directives, such as living wills and durable power of attorney for healthcare, to ensure their preferences are respected.


Creation of the Living Will

In 1991, the concept of the living will gained widespread recognition. A living will is a legal document that specifies an individual's healthcare preferences, particularly regarding end-of-life care. It allows individuals to outline their desires regarding treatments such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), mechanical ventilation, and artificial nutrition and hydration.


HIPAA and Patient Privacy

In 2003, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was implemented to protect patient privacy and enable healthcare decision-making. HIPAA ensures the confidentiality of medical records and grants individuals control over their personal health information. It helps to safeguard the privacy rights necessary for making informed healthcare decisions.

Did you know?

Did you know that Daniel Hawkins, the founder of MyDirectives, led the movement that launched National Healthcare Decisions Day in the U.S.? Talk about dedication!


awareness fun loved ones healthcare decisions

First identified

16th March 2015

Most mentioned on

16th April 2015

Total mentions


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