LETTER: Information about advance directives

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Dear editor,
There are problems associated with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Kentucky HIPAA. Individuals in recovery from mental health issues are often caught in a no-win situation due to regulations in place by the HIPAA laws. The law was enacted to protect people; however, in most cases, the law stops the loved ones of the person in crises from being able to help. Because of HIPAA, a hospital will not even acknowledge that an individual is at a facility.

In 2003, the Kentucky Legislature, enacted a law providing for an “Advanced Directive.” The Advance Directive is a written, legally-binding document that expresses a person’s wishes about accepting or refusing mental health treatment.

People who have advance directives can give health care providers information about anything that they think is important. They can also choose to designate someone else (a surrogate) to act on their behalf, according to what they wrote in the Advance Directive.

If you or a loved one or a medical provider would like to attend a class that will give detailed information about Advance Directives provided by NAMI Nelson County, please join us on Aug. 20 at the Bardstown Public Library located at 201 Cathedral Manor in Bardstown, Kentucky at 9 a.m.

Lynne Barr
NAMI Nelson County
311 Templin Avenue
Bardstown, KY 40004