What are they?

Advance Health Care Directives are legal documents that allow individuals to specify their health care wishes in writing should the time ever come when they are unable to communicate these wishes. Other names for these documents are living wills or powers of attorney for personal care.

What do they consist of?

Advance Health Care Directives are broken down into precise decision-making areas. Each decision is based on two different medical conditions.

Reversible illness Irreversible illness
Example of a reversible illness is Pneumonia Example of an irreversible illness is AIDS

Your doctor is the person who elects to tell you if your illness is reversible or irreversible. Further decisions can be made on the following: Level of care, CPR, Feeding.

Who is named

An advance directive will name a power of attorney for personal care. This is a person chosen to ensure that your wishes listed on the directive are followed and who can give more detail if required. A personal statement will define what you would consider irreversible or intolerable. In other words, in what condition would you feel that you would no longer want life to be sustained.

Level of Care

  • Palliative
  • Limited
  • Surgical
  • Intensive
  • CPR (Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation)
  • No CPR

For CPR, decisions can be made to defibrilate (shocking the heart) or intubate/ventilate (a tube put into your lungs and put on a machine to help you breathe)

Decisions can be made on how you would like to be fed.

  • Basic
  • Supplemental
  • Intravenous
  • Tube

For more information about advance directives, please speak with a member of your healthcare team.

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