An advance directive is a legal document that specifies the care you would want, should you become unable to communicate those wishes to others. Many of our patients complete advance directives as part of their estate planning, with the help of an attorney or other professional.
Due to state and federal regulations, you will be offered information about advance directives before and after you are admitted to our hospital. You will also be asked if you have signed a power of attorney for healthcare matters. Please ask your nurse if you need assistance with these forms. If you are planning your hospital stay in advance, perhaps to recover from surgery, please bring this paperwork with you to the hospital.
If a patient has not made his/her wishes clear by an advance directive, decisions regarding patient care may sometimes rest with the family or others representing the interests of the patient. This can create a significant amount of distress for loved ones, particularly when individuals disagree about a course of treatment or prognosis.