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Advanced Directives (Living Wills)

What is an Advance Directive and why is it important? Find out here.

An Advance Directive is a written document that clearly details

  • Your wishes
  • Your decisions
  • Your preferences

regarding your healthcare should you be unable to communicate them yourself.

It’s your right to accept or refuse medical care. Having an Advance Directive before you need hospital care protects this right.

Should you become mentally or physically unable to make your wishes known, the Advance Directive will speak for you.

IMPORTANT: Talk over the advantages and disadvantages of various treatment options with your doctor. Plan ahead and let your family or your attorney, know how you would like your situation handled so they can communicate them, in the event that you can’t.

If you don’t express your wishes clearly before decisions must be made, they will be made by someone else for you and may not be what you would want.

During your admission process, you will be asked if you have an Advance Directive document and your response will become part of your medical record.

If you have one, we will ask you to provide a copy so it can be placed in your medical chart and become part of your permanent medical record at ARMC.

Should you not have one and think that maybe you should, ARMC will gladly offer information and help in preparing one.

Frequently Asked Questions About Advance Directives

Q. WHAT IS AN ADVANCE DIRECTIVE ?

A. An Advance Directive is a legal document that details your directions and preferences regarding your medical care or mental health care. It takes effect only when you are unable to speak for yourself. Examples of Advance Directive documents include:

  • A Living Will
  • Proxy Directive
  • Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
  • Appointment of a Mental Healthcare Proxy and a Psychiatric Advance Directive

Q. WHAT IS A LIVING WILL ?

A. A Living Will is an Advance Directive with written instructions about the kind of medical treatment you want or do not want

Q. WHAT IS A PROXY DIRECTIVE ?

A. Through the Proxy Directive, you name a person you trust to make decisions about your medical care in the event that you are unable to communicate your wishes. The person you assign to make your medical decision is called your “proxy” or “healthcare representative.

Q. HOW CAN I PREPARE AN ADVANCE DIRECTIVE IF I DON’T ALREADY HAVE ONE ?

A. ARMC can provide a simple form and questionnaire that will simplify the process.

Q. WHERE DO I GET THE FORM ?

A. Sample Advance Directive and Proxy Directive forms are available from the departments of Case Management, Nursing or Pastoral Care. Ask your nurse for help.

Q. DO I NEED A LAWYER TO FILL OUT A PROXY DIRECTIVE FORM ?

A. No. You may contact a lawyer if you wish, but that’s not necessary. It is also not necessary to have these forms notarized. However, you will need two people to witness your signature.

Q. WHOM SHOULD I CHOOSE AS MY HEALTHCARE REPRESENTATIVE ?

A. Choose someone you trust to carry out your wishes. The only legal requirements are that your healthcare representative must be at least 18 years old and that he/she not be your doctor or any employee of ARMC.

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