Healthcare Advanced Directives
The following information is not legal advice nor is it intended to replace legal counsel from an attorney. It is intended to help you plan for the future.
Every competent adult has the right to make decisions concerning his or her own health, including the right to choose or refuse medical treatment.
However, when a person becomes unable to make decisions due to a physical or mental change, such as being in a coma or developing dementia (such as Alzheimer’s disease), they are considered incapacitated. To make sure an incapacitated person’s decisions regarding healthcare are respected, the law recognizes the right of a competent adult to make an advance directive instructing his or her physician to provide, withhold, or withdraw life-prolonging procedures; to designate another individual to make treatment decisions if that person becomes unable to make his or her own decision; and/or to indicate the desire to make an anatomical donation after death.
By law hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, hospices, and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) are required to provide their patients with written information concerning healthcare advance directives.
What is an advance directive?
Three types of advance directives are:
- A Living Will
- A Healthcare Representative Designation
- An Anatomical Donation
You might choose to complete one, two, or all three of these forms.
What is a living will?
What is a healthcare representative designation?
Which is best?
What is an anatomical donation?
Am I required to have an advance directive?
The person making decisions for you may or may not be aware of your wishes. When you make an advance directive, and discuss it with the significant people in your life, it will better assure that your wishes will be carried out the way you want.
Must an attorney prepare the advance directive?
Can I change my mind after I write an advance directive?
If your driver’s license or state identification card indicates you are an organ donor, but you no longer want this designation, contact the nearest driver’s license office to cancel the donor designation and a new license or card will be issued to you.
What should I do with my advance directive if I choose to have one?
- Make sure your healthcare provider, attorney and the significant persons in your life know you have an advance directive and where it is located. You also may want to give them a copy
- Set up a file where you can keep a copy of your advance directive (and other important paperwork). Some people keep original papers in a bank safety deposit box. If you do, you may want to keep copies at your house or information concerning the location of your safety deposit box
- Keep a card or note in your purse or wallet that states that you have an advance directive and where it is located
- If you change your advance directive, make sure your healthcare provider, attorney and the significant persons in your life have the latest copy
If you have questions about your advance directive you may want to discuss these with your healthcare provider, attorney, or the significant persons in your life.
If we at Henry Community Health Hospice can be of further assistance, please contact us by phone at 765.593.2389 or 888.216.9823, or email at email@example.com.