What kind of medical care would you want if you were too ill or hurt to express your wishes? Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion later on.
Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney for health care is a document that names your health care proxy. Your proxy is someone you trust to make health decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
A living will tells which treatments you want if you are dying or permanently unconscious. You can accept or refuse medical care. You might want to include instructions on the use of dialysis and breathing machines, if you want to be resuscitated if your breathing or heartbeat stops, tube feeding, and organ or tissue donation.
Englewood Health encourages all patients to complete an advance directive form. Before filling out this form, you are encouraged to speak with your doctor, family, health care representative, or others who may become responsible for following your wishes. Once you have a valid directive and you are not capable of making decisions for yourself, your requests must be followed by anyone involved in your care. To be valid, the document must be signed and dated in the presence of two witnesses (not named as a health care proxy) or notarized. A copy of the valid document must also be made available for your medical team.
After you fill out your advance directive, we recommend that you keep the original and give copies to your appointed health care representative (proxy), your physician, and any other family member, close friend, or advisor who is interested in your health and well-being.