Q: Who should complete Advance Directives?
A: All adults should think about completing advance directives.
Q: Why complete Advance Directives?
A: To legally communicate your healthcare wishes to your family and healthcare team. It is important to also discuss your wishes with your family/significant other and your doctor.
Q: How do I complete my Advance Directives?
A: After reading the forms, talking to your family/significant other, and completing the information, have a notary notarize your signature on the documents. You can also have two people who are not related to your by marriage or blood witness you signing the forms if a notary is not available.
Advance directives are documents that you complete to inform your doctors and others about what type and what amount of medical care you want if you become very sick and are unable to talk about your wishes.
There are two types of advance directives: Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney.
Advance Directives should be signed and notarized or witnessed.
A Living Will is a document that states what your wishes are regarding life support machines and any other end of life wishes you may have. It allows you to explain what kind of medical treatments you want to receive if you are unable to talk to your healthcare team.
A Living Will becomes effective when a person is very sick or in a coma and will never wake up.
Health Care Power Of Attorney
A Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) is a document where you name a person to make your medical decisions for you if you are unable to talk to your healthcare team. You can choose any relative or adult friend who you trust to make healthcare decisions that are the same decisions as what you would want.
You should tell your wishes to the person you make your HCPOA.
Though not an advance directive, DNR is another topic your physician may discuss with you and your family. The Ohio DNR law gives you the opportunity to limit care you may receive in an emergency situation when you are very sick. Your physician can write an order stating that you do not want to have certain types of medical treatment if your heart stops or you stop breathing. Examples of these treatments could be CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) or a breathing machine. A DNR order can only be placed by a doctor or an advanced practice nurse.
Here at Dayton Physicians Network, we strive to provide our patients with comprehensive and compassionate care.
One aspect of care is talking to our patients about their advance directives.