Advance Directives are documents that state your choices about your medical care in the event that you are unable to communicate your wishes with those involved in your care. These documents are not mandatory, but may be helpful in planning your future care and communicating your wishes to those who care for you. There are 3 types of directives. You may choose to complete any or all in order to make your health care plans clear to others.
We suggest that you read about each of these documents, ask questions, and most importantly discuss your decisions with those close to you who are involved in your life and healthcare. If you have completed any Advance Directive document, give us a copy of the document(s) for your medical record. This will assure that we are aware of, and can respect, your treatment plans.
Living Will is intended to communicate your wishes about medical treatment at the end of life in case you are unable to speak for yourself due to illness or injury. It tells your doctor whether or not you want to have life-sustaining treatments or procedures performed if you are in an irreversible situation. It takes effect while you are still living and becomes effective when 1) you have provided a copy to your doctor; 2) you are no longer able to make your own health care decisions; and 3) it has been determined that you are in an irreversible condition.
Medical Power of Attorney
Medical Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint another person to make medical decisions for you, should you become temporarily or permanently unable to make decisions for yourself. The designee becomes your spokesperson for health care decisions of all types. The person chosen should know you, your wishes, be aware of the request, and be willing to carry out the responsibility.
Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Information
Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Information is in effect when you are not in a hospital. It notifies emergency medical and other health care providers to permit you to have a natural death with peace and dignity, in the event that your heart stops beating or you stop breathing.