Sharing Your Wishes and Making Health Care Decisions
Do you know what health care treatments you would and would not want if you could not speak for yourself? Do your family and loved ones know what your wishes are? Do you have an advance directive?
Advance directives are legal documents that provide direction and instruction for your future health care in the event you are unable to make decisions for yourself. There are two types of advance directives, commonly referred to as a “living will” and a “durable power of attorney for health care.”
- A living will is a written statement that makes clear the end-of-life treatments you wish. The purpose of a living will is to guide family members and physicians in deciding the use and continuation or withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment.
- A durable power of attorney for health care is a written document that appoints and designates an individual to make health care decisions on your behalf while you are living when you are unable to do so for yourself. A durable power of attorney for health care is not limited to end-of-life decisions. (A durable power of attorney for health care is not the same as a durable power of attorney, which appoints and designates an individual to make financial decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so for yourself.)
University Hospitals honors treatment decisions outlined in valid advance directives and recognizes the rights of patients to choose and refuse treatment.
UH supports the rights of its patients to make advance directives and strongly encourages its patients to plan ahead, and prepare advance directive documents.
- Plan ahead so you can receive the care that is important to you and in accordance with your wishes.
- Plan ahead so that your family and loved ones understand your wishes for care when you can no longer make those decisions for yourself.
- Plan ahead to give you and your loved ones peace of mind.
UH has prepared advance directive care planning materials for patients. If you need assistance in dealing with difficult issues regarding advance directives, our ethics consultation service can help.
For more information or to request copies of documents, please contact Care Coordination.