Only 29% of Americans Have A Living Will

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(Memphis) Dealing with the illness of a loved one is difficult enough without worrying about making important end of life decisions.

Today, health care professionals are reminding everyone to consider having a living will.

A living will is a legal document that tells doctors what to do when you can longer speak for yourself

Kris Azlin’s lost her 54-year-old sister to lung cancer last year.

Azlin, who works at Baptist Women’s Hospital, said her sister did not have a living will and  it made things more difficult for the family.

According to Baptist Memorial Health Care, only half of patients are able to make decision when they are hospitalized and only 29% of Americans have a living will.

The hospital even encourages its own employees to consider advance planning.

“When the patient is unable to speak for themselves and if a decision maker has not been chosen then family members are fighting among themselves about well, mom wanted this or no mom wanted that,” said Jeri Ashley, Director of Advance Care Planning for Baptist.

Ashley says by planning ahead you get to honor your loved one’s wishes.

For more on National Health Care Decision Day click here.

For more on how you can complete a living will on-line log on here.