Peace of Mind for You and Your Family
It is very difficult to think about death...to contemplate whether or not you want to be kept alive, perhaps for years, through the use of "extraordinary means" and advanced medical technology. To talk about this with loved ones can be extremely uncomfortable. Yet, it is so very important.
The Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990 gives you an opportunity, a reason, and a process through which you can express your wishes for medical care and end-of-life treatment should you be unable to speak for yourself. By completing advance directives, you relieve your loved ones from having to make very difficult decisions on your behalf. Literally, life and death decisions.
If you choose to execute a Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney, Advance Instruction for Mental Health Treatment, a Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR) or Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST), it is very important that you discuss, in detail, your wishes and the existence of these documents with your family. Give a photocopy of the documents to your next of kin and anyone else a health care provider may contact in case of an emergency. A copy should be brought with you upon each admission to the hospital. The original documents should be kept with other important papers; please notify your family of the location.
To learn more about advance directives, follow this link: New Developments Pertaining to Advance Directives and Health Care Planning.