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We encourage you to become involved in decisions about your care and to talk with your doctor and family about those decisions. Planning ahead in the event you cannot speak for yourself is especially important. An Advance Health Care Directive allows you to do this.
An Advance Directive (or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care) allows you to provide direction about your care even if you cannot speak for yourself at the time. It also allows you to appoint someone of your choice to direct your care, if you wish to do so. This person should be someone who knows you, your values and what is important to you. This person does not have to be a family member. It also allows you to state your wishes regarding the use of life-sustaining treatment and pain control. You may make an Advance Directive orally or in writing, but you can be very clear if you write it. All information is helpful to your doctor, the nursing professionals caring for you, and the family or friends who may be called upon if and when you cannot speak for yourself.
Upon admission you will be asked about an Advance Directive, if you have completed one, or if you desire more information. We encourage you to complete the Advance Directive before you enter the hospital. If you have a completed Advance Directive, please bring it with you upon admission to the hospital.
If you would like more information about completing an Advance Directive once you are in the hospital, please ask your nurse to contact the Social Worker or Chaplain. They will be happy to discuss it with you further.