"'Would you like to discuss your end-of-life plans today?' I ask my patients this question, though not as often as I'd like. Talking about death may be uncomfortable, but it's a conversation that needs to happen more often." --Kevin Pho, MD.

Dr. Kevin Pho's assertion is one that may have been cause for pause for patients and families years ago. However, as people continue to become educated on the value of advance care planning through initiatives like National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD), it is a sentiment that is garnering the thought and consideration it deserves amongst medical professionals, patients and families.

And, with NHDD just three days away -- on Saturday, April 16th-- Pho has penned an incredibly timely piece on the subject. In his most recent column, published this morning in USA Today--Politics mustn’t silence end-of-life talks--Pho expounds on the importance of advance care planning for a wide readership.

We hope this impactful op-ed will complement the many NHDD events across the nation and inspire people from all walks of life to not only 'have the talk,' but walk the walk by completing their advance directives.

Moved to complete your own advance directive or to help your loved ones engage in advance care planning? Check out tips on how to start the process in 'NHDD Blog Rally 2011' and take the NHDD 2011 Pledge featured in the website sidebar.