All adults can benefit from thinking about what their healthcare choices would be if they are unable to speak for themselves. These decisions can be written down in an advance directive so that others know what they are. Advance directives come in two main forms:
- PROXY DIRECTIVE(Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare)
A proxy directive is a document you use to appoint a person to make healthcare decisions for you in the event you become unable to make them yourself. This document goes into effect whether your inability to make healthcare decisions is temporary because of an accident or permanent because of a disease. The person that you appoint is known as your “healthcare representative” and they are responsible for making the same decisions you would have made under the circumstances. If they are unable to determine what you would want in a specific situation they are to base their decision on what they think is in your best interest.
- INSTRUCTION DIRECTIVE(Living Will)
An instruction directive is a document you use to tell your physician and family about the kinds of situations you would want or not want to have life-sustaining treatment in the event you are unable to make your own healthcare decisions. You can also include a description of your beliefs, values, and general care and treatment preferences. This will guide your physician and family when they have to make healthcare decisions for you in situations not specifically covered by your advance directive.
ADVANCE DIRECTIVE: Your Right to Make Health Care Decisions
You have the right to:
- Ask questions about your care.
- Completely understand your medical condition.
- Accept or refuse any treatments.
- Make future decisions by completing an Advance Directive.
- If you have a life-limiting illness – you have the right to choose the hospice of your choice.
Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice has ready-made packets with current Living Will information available FREE. Please stop by our office at 99 Sparta Ave, Newton, NJ and request one at the desk. You may call us at 973-383-0115, or at 800-882-1117 and we will have one mailed to you.