Advance Directives are written to allow you to make your wishes about your care known for the time when you are unable to voice them yourself.
Advance Directives include:
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions (DPOA-HC) allows you the opportunity to choose whom you want to make medical decisions for you. This designated person makes medical decision on your behalf only when you are unable to do so. This is a written document in which you specify your wishes regarding medical care. The DPOA-HC does not cover legal and/or financial matters.
- Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order is written when a person wishes to have a natural death. A DNR order does not mean you no longer receive care but that you continue to receive care but when your heart stops beating or respirations cease you are allowed to pass without interventions. A DNR order is not required to begin hospice care, but education will be provided on admission regarding a DNR. If you do not want resuscitation started, ask your doctor to write a DNR order to keep in your home.
- A Living Will allows a person to state in advance what their medical wishes are about artificially prolonging life when they have a terminal condition. It only applies when the person has been diagnosed and certified as terminally ill by two doctors. It does not direct care during an emergency situation.