Free Materials, Clinics to Help Missourians Create Advance Directives

The Missouri Bar and Volunteer Lawyers Partner to Assist Missourians for National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16

Missourians can easily set up their own durable power of attorney for health care thanks to free materials provided by The Missouri Bar or by attending one of more than two dozen free clinics throughout the state where volunteer lawyers will assist them in completing written advance directives in accordance with Missouri laws. Events will take place in St. Louis, Kansas City and Springfield as well as St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties. A full listing of events, times and locations is available online at

The free materials and clinics help mark Thursday, April 16, as National Healthcare Decisions Day. In its eighth year, the annual effort brings together national, state and community groups to educate the public about the importance of making advance health care decisions and empowering them to complete an advance care directive.

Missouri Bar President Reuben Shelton says studies show that while four out of five people believe it’s important to have their end-of-life care wishes in writing, fewer than one-third of Americans have an advance care directive.

“National Healthcare Decisions Day is an education and awareness movement about the importance of advance care planning,” Shelton said. “On April 16, lawyers across Missouri will be volunteering their time to meet with members of the public to assist in executing a health care power of attorney and an advance directive. It’s a great opportunity to get your end-of-life care wishes in place so that your family and health care providers will be better equipped to honor your wishes when the time comes to do so.”

The Missouri Bar offers a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Health Care Directive, in English and Spanish, at no charge to Missourians. The forms are available by calling 573-635-4128 or online at

National Healthcare Decisions Day seeks to address the public’s misunderstanding about advance health care planning and directives. To date, more than 80 national organizations and 700 state and community organizations participant. To learn more, visit

The Missouri Bar is a statewide organization that is dedicated to improving the legal profession, the law and the administration of justice for all Missourians. Created in 1944 by order of the Supreme Court of Missouri, it serves all 30,000 of Missouri’s practicing lawyers. The Missouri Bar provides a wide range of services and resources to its members, as well as the media, educators and the citizens of Missouri. To learn more about The Missouri Bar, visit and


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