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Free Santa Monica Healthcare Decisions Forums This Tuesday, Wednesday:

If you faced a life-threatening health issue and were unable to speak for yourself, who would speak for you? Who would make the difficult decisions? An advance healthcare directive and healthcare power of attorney (proxy) would ensure your wishes were known for end-of-life care.

The Flora L. Thornton Community Health Education Program at Providence Saint John’s Health Center will present two free community education forums in April. “Your Health & Life: New Perspectives and Discussion on Advance Directives, Technology and End of Life Care” will be presented from 2 to 4 pm this Tuesday, April 15 and repeated at 6:30 pm Wednesday, April 16 in the Santa Monica Public Library Auditorium, 601 Santa Monica Blvd.

As part of the National Healthcare Decision’s Day initiative, lectures and discussion will focus on advance healthcare directives, the healthcare decisions proxy or agent, life-sustaining treatment, Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST), family caregiver insights and technology versus end-of-life care.

Sister Colleen Settles, OP, vice president of mission at Providence Saint John’s, will present the introduction and overview.

Presentations will include “Difficult Decisions – A Physician’s Perspective” by Brian Madden, M.D., medical director of palliative care, and “Who Will Speak For You, If You Cannot Speak for Yourself?” by Miriam Piven Cotler, Ph.D., the hospital’s clinical ethicist and a Distinguished Scholar at The Bioethics Institute at Loyola Marymount University.

The speakers will be joined in a question-and-answer session and discussion panel by Carol O’Dea, R.N., the hospital’s administrative director of quality and patient safety and Nancy Parks, R.N., palliative care nurse coordinator.

Representatives from Providence Saint John’s palliative care program will be available a half-hour before both sessions to answer questions, and a representative from the Cancer Support Community – Benjamin Center will be present April 15.

Reservations are required and can be made by calling 310.829.8453.

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