Understandably, matters relating to end of life and incapacity are difficult to discuss, however it enables physicians and clinical care staff to provide the type of health care that an individual expresses he or she prefers. If a loved one is unable to make such decisions for him or herself, our goal is to provide care that honors the wishes our patient.
We encourage you to discuss your feelings and beliefs about these subjects with those who may become responsible for making decisions for you such as family members, friends and your physician. Advanced directives provide an important written statement of your wishes to others, but discussing your wishes with others is the key to ensuring that your wishes are understood. Candid conversation can significantly reduce the chance of disagreements occurring between those who care for you, and may relieve your loved ones of some of the heavy burdens of decision making, while lending additional assurance that your wishes will be respected.
An Advance Health Care Directive (Advance Directive) is a document in which you give instructions about your health care if, in the future, you cannot speak for yourself. You may appoint someone to make health care decisions for you. You may give instructions about the kind of health care you do or do not want.
In a traditional Living Will, you state what your wishes are regarding life-sustaining medical treatments if you should become terminally ill. In a Health Care Power of Attorney, you appoint someone else to make medical treatment decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. The Advance Directive combines and expands the traditional living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney into a single comprehensive document.
POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) is an approach to improving end-of-life care, encouraging doctors to speak with patients and create specific medical orders to be honored by health care workers during a medical crisis. A POLST form is a legal document for people with advanced illness that specifies the type of care that individual would like in a medical emergency.
For your reference/consideration, please download forms for Durable Power of Attorney (Health Care Proxy,) POLST and DNR (Do Not Resuscitate).
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