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Healthcare Decisions

A conversation that’s worth having.

Life decisions are made about education, marriage, and starting a family, why not about the end of life? End of life care is not a topic many wish to discuss, but avoiding the conversation can leave loved ones unsure of what to do. Part of end of life care is Advance Care Planning, an important discussion to assure your life is handled in a way you wish.

Hosparus Health encourages you to make future healthcare decisions known to family, friends, and healthcare providers. To help make these decisions known, Take the Pledge!

Advance Care Planning

Make your wishes known.

It always seems too early, until it’s too late. When was the last time you had a conversation with the key people in your life about what is important to you? If you were unable to make decisions because of a medical emergency, who would speak for you?

Advance care planning is making decisions about the healthcare you would want to receive if you’re facing a medical crisis. It can include the following:

Living Will

A living will allows you to put in writing your wishes about medical treatments for the end of your life in case you cannot communicate these wishes directly. Different states name this document differently. For example, it may be called a “directive to physicians,” “healthcare declaration,” or “medical directive.”
Regardless of what it is called, its purpose is to guide your family and doctors in deciding about the use of medical treatments for you at the end of life.

Healthcare Power of Attorney

This can also be called a “healthcare proxy,” “appointment of a healthcare agent,” or “durable power of attorney for healthcare.”

The person you appoint may be called your healthcare agent, surrogate, attorney-in-fact, or healthcare proxy. They usually are authorized to deal with all medical situations when you cannot speak for yourself. Thus, he or she can speak for you if you become temporarily incapacitated — after an accident, for example — as well as if you become permanently incapacitated because of illness or injury.

*Note: This is different from a financial “power of attorney” or financial “durable power of attorney.”

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order

A DNR order is a physician’s written order instructing healthcare providers not to attempt CPR in case of cardiac or respiratory arrest. A person with a valid DNR order will not be given CPR. Unlike a living will or a medical power of attorney, a person cannot prepare a DNR order. Although it is a written request of an individual, his or her family or healthcare agent, it must be signed by a physician.

“Do not resuscitate” does not mean, “do not treat.” A DNR order covers only one type of medical treatment—CPR. Other types, including fluids, artificial
nutrition and hydration, and antibiotics must be discussed with separately.

Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST)

National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD)

Hosparus Health is one of several local partners leading an effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making. Hosparus Health is a proud participant in National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).

NHDD exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative of The Conversation Project, and exists as a 50-state annual initiative to provide clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to both the public and providers/facilities. Although NHDD is April 16th, it is not limited to just one day. We want people to make their healthcare decisions known anytime.

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