An advance directive (also called a living will) is an important document that could provide considerable help to you, the patient, and to your family and friends as well.
An advance directive is a document that enables you to direct who will make health care decisions for you and to state your wishes for medical treatment if you become unable to decide for yourself in the future. Your advance directive may be used to accept or refuse any procedure or treatment, including life-sustaining treatment.
Underwood-Memorial Hospital respects your rights to make informed decisions regarding your medical and surgical treatment, including the right to refuse life-sustaining treatment. Underwood-Memorial Hospital will honor refusals of life-sustaining and other medical treatment in accordance with its policies and procedures and applicable law.
Be sure to provide a copy of your newly prepared or any revised Advance Directive to the hospital’s Admissions Department or to your physician.
What types of advance directives can I use?
There are three types of advance directives, which enable you to control your future care. While these are described briefly below, they are addressed thoroughly in the “Five Wishes” material we can make available to you and your family or friends.
A PROXY DIRECTIVE (also called a “durable power of attorney for health care”) lets you name a “health care representative,” such as a family member or friend, to make health care decisions on your behalf.
An INSTRUCTION DIRECTIVE (also called a “living will”) lets you state what kinds of medical treatment you would accept or reject in certain situations.
A COMBINED DIRECTIVE lets you do both. It lets you name a health care representative and tells that person your treatment wishes.
Whom should I talk to about advance directives?
You should talk to your doctor, your lawyer, family members, close friends or others you trust to help you. Your doctor, your lawyer or a member of our staff can give you more information about how to complete or prepare an advance directive.
What is Underwood-Memorial's policy regarding advance directives for health care?
It is the policy of Underwood-Memorial to encourage and honor advance directives (except for directives that are prohibited by law) and to prohibit discrimination against those with advance directives. Written policies and procedures on advance directives are maintained by Underwood-Memorial Hospital and are available upon request.
Where can I obtain more information?
You can call Underwood-Memorial Hospital’s Medical Social Work Department at (856) 845-0100, ext. 2909, for additional information and assistance relating to advance directives. You can also request a free information packet that will enable you to prepare your advance directive.