Your Medical Decisions
Your medical decisions are important to Atrium Medical Center (Atrium). Atrium offers you advance care planning information to help you make decisions about your treatment options.
Advance Care Planning Overview
You are the person most qualified to make decisions about your medical care, including the right to choose or refuse medical treatment if you become terminally ill or unable to make decisions yourself. If that happens, you can make sure your health care preferences are respected by physicians, family, and friends by using advance directives like a:
Document and Record Your Treatment Preferences
Advance directive is a general legal term that refers to your instructions of how your future medical care decisions should be made when you are no longer able to make those decisions. The best way to communicate your advanced directive is in a formal written document.
For example, if an elderly patient becomes incapacitated by dementia, an advance directive would describe the kind of medical care she would want if she could no longer make informed decisions. If a seriously ill patient lapses into a coma from which he’ll never recover, an advance directive would express his wishes for continuing or ending treatment when he can no longer speak for himself.
Communicate Your Wishes for Life-Sustaining Treatment
Advance directives allow you to communicate your end-of-life care wishes not only to doctors but also to family and friends. These documents spare loved ones the stress of making difficult medical care decisions at an emotional time. They also prevent any confusion about what your wishes are regarding life-sustaining treatment.
Advance directives can also indicate an individual’s wishes regarding organ donation.
Who Needs an Advance Directive?
Some people wait until they are seriously or terminally ill to prepare an advance directive. However, anyone may be the victim of unexpected illness, accident, or serious injury. Creating an advance directive while you’re healthy is the best way to record and document your preferences for medical care if you suddenly become incapacitated.
Types of Advance Directives in Ohio
There are four different types of legal documents within the general term advance directive:
- Living will: This type of advance directive is a written legal document that states the medical care or life-sustaining treatments you do or do not want if you become terminally ill or unconscious and unable to make those decisions. A living will does not grant someone else the power to make your medical care decisions for you, it simply provides a statement of your preferences.
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPA): A DPA is a written advance directive in which you designate another person to make health care decisions in the event you are unable to do so. A DPA takes effect when you are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to make medical decisions, even temporarily.
- Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR): You can use this type of advance directive to request that cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) not be used if your heart stops or if you stop breathing. You can use either an advance directive form or verbally tell your doctor that you do not wish to be resuscitated. In this case, a DNR order will be put in your medical chart by your doctor.
- Organ and Tissue Donation: This type of advance directive indicates your wishes to make an organ or tissue donation at death.
The Ohio Advance Directives Packet, which includes Living Will Declaration and Health Care Power of Attorney forms, is available for free download from the Midwest Care Alliance .
You can also use the Law Help Interactive site to walk you through the process of creating an Advance Directive. Also available in Spanish.
After Completing a Form
If you decide to complete one or more of these forms, you are encouraged to give a copy to all your health care providers, your lawyer, and loved ones. If you have been a patient at Atrium and would like a copy of the completed form to be placed in your medical record, please send it to:
Atrium Medical Center
Medical Records - Correspondence
P.O. Box 8810
Middletown, Ohio 45042-9813
Contact Us for More Information
If you have questions or concerns about advance directives, our Social Services staff is available to assist you. Call (513) 420-5259 for assistance.
Content Updated: November 19, 2014
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