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Advance Directives are Important for End-of-Life Decisions

family laying on rugIt is difficult to think about or talk about end-of-life situations, but giving direction in advance is something good you can do for your loved ones should they face sudden or inevitable decisions about your care. Advance directives are the plans you make for your future healthcare decisions in the event you cannot make these decisions for yourself. An advance directive can be completed orally or in writing. Putting your plan in writing helps people accurately remember your plan and makes it easier to communicate to healthcare providers.

KishHealth System staff can help you complete the forms, but it always best to talk to your family, doctor and attorney before signing the forms. Online resources also are available to help you understand the decisions you are making.

There’s No Easy Way to Plan for Future Healthcare Choices

Advance Care Planning is a process of coming to understand, reflect on, discuss, and plan for a time when you cannot make your own medical decisions and are unlikely to recover from your injury or illness. Effective planning is the best way to make sure your views are respected by your loved ones and healthcare providers. This process also provides comfort to those who may make end-of-life decisions for you. Good advance care planning improves the quality of your advance directives.

Some Basic Information You Should Know

  • Talk with your family, your healthcare provider, your attorney about advance directives or a Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order.
  • If they know what healthcare you want, they will find it easier to follow your wishes.
  • If you cancel or change an advance directive or a DNR in the future, remember to tell these same people about the change or cancellation.
  • No healthcare facility, healthcare professional or insurer can make you execute an advance directive or DNR order as a condition of providing treatment or insurance. It is entirely your decision.
  • If a healthcare facility, healthcare professional or insurer objects to following your advance directive or DNR order then they must tell you or the individual responsible for making your healthcare decisions.
  • They must continue to provide care until you or your decision maker can transfer you to another healthcare provider who will follow your advance directive or DNR order.
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