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Is your family aware of your healthcare wishes?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Is your family aware of your healthcare wishes?

by: Johna Carpenter, Emergency Department Registered Nurse

Every year, unexpected serious illnesses and accidents happen. It is important for your family and loved ones to know what your healthcare decisions are.  This can be done by filling out and signing a set of Advanced Directives.  These legal documents speak for you when you are unable to speak for yourself.

Having written instructions can help reduce confusion or disagreements as to what your wishes would be if faced with an unexpected end-of-life situation.

Advanced Directives include:

A Living Will that spells out the types of medical treatment and life sustaining measures you want or wish to have withheld.  These may include resuscitation, mechanical ventilation, nutritional hydration, dialysis and/or comfort measures only. 

A Medical Health Care Power of Attorney would be who you appoint to make your medical decisions in the event you are unable to do so for yourself.  This person makes sure that your wishes are known and followed.

There is no down side to recording your wishes and nominating a trusted agent to help ensure your wishes are followed.  It will bring you peace of mind, and comfort to your family members.

Information packets to help answer specific questions are available at Missouri Baptist Hospital Sullivan.


Pictured is MBSH Emergency Room Staff