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Advance Directives: Communicating Your Wishes

Donald and Paula Johnson weren’t thinking about end-of-life issues when Donald, an AK Steel retiree, came to Atrium for neck surgery. When Rickey Brown, Staff Chaplain at Atrium, asked whether either one had completed a Living Will Declaration or a Health Care Power of Attorney, they were surprised.

Called “advance directives,” a Living Will and a Health Care Power of Attorney let health care providers know what type and amount of medical care you would like should you ever become seriously ill and unable to communicate your wishes.

Making health care decisions in advance gives patients control over their care. It’s a gift you can give loved ones. With Rickey’s assistance, both Donald and Paula completed advance directives. “It gives me peace of mind knowing that my children will not have to make tough decisions about my care,” said Paula.