National Healthcare Decisions Day Shines Light on Importance of Planning for Medical Emergencies

by HRC Staff

Saturday April 16 a Day to Plan Ahead to Avoid Crises in Times of Emergency

Washington - Saturday April 16, 2011 is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the educational arm of the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is reaching out to members, supporters, and the general public to illustrate the importance of advance healthcare directives. In times of emergency, you may be unable to make medical decisions or state who you want to visit you. That is why it is important to have directives in place. Recent studies have shown large health disparities in the LGBT community. Many LGBT people often decline to seek healthcare in times of need out of fear of discrimination and poor treatment by healthcare professionals. Having advance healthcare directives in place could help remedy this situation.

"Unfortunately LGBT people often face discrimination when seeking treatment for illnesses or accidents," said Ellen Kahn, director of the HRC Foundation Family Project. "Without legal relationship recognition in most states, we can be denied access to our families in times of true and dire emergency. Having advance healthcare directives in place will help make these critical times a little easier."

Because this is such an important issue to the LGBT community, HRC has negotiated a discounted rate for HRC members for the services of DocuBank -- the nation's largest electronic access service for healthcare directives. When you store your healthcare directives with DocuBank you receive a customized wallet card that makes these documents, and your critical emergency information, instantly available 24/7/365 via automated fax or secure webpage.

"DocuBank understands the specific needs of members of the LGBT community when it comes to advance directives and has worked hard to support our LGBT members and LGBT organizations for more than a decade," said DocuBank President Randi Siegel. "We are so pleased to partner with HRC to help HRC members protect their wishes by making their directives available immediately in a medical emergency."

For more information visit

DocuBank is a secure and convenient database to keep your advance directives, but the first step is to create the necessary legal documents, including a living will and a healthcare proxy. Learn more about these documents at:

In addition to having advance healthcare directives in place, establishing an estate plan is also extremely important to help protect yourself and your loved ones in times of sickness and death. Estate planning experts at HRC are able to help. For more information visit

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

DocuBank, the largest and oldest national registry for advance directives, is dedicated to helping individuals protect their healthcare wishes. Since its founding in 1994, DocuBank has registered the directives and emergency information of over 180,000 individuals.

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