Advance Care Directives (Living Will)
When patients are admitted to the hospital, they are asked if they have an Advance Care Directive, more commonly known as a living will. If you do not have one, Texoma Medical Center will be happy to provide you with a copy that you may fill out or you may download a copy here:
What are Advance Care Directives?
An Advance Care Directive is a legal document that allows you to make your wishes about your healthcare known in advance to your physicians, family and friends. An Advance Care Directive can help avoid confusion if your health status declines and you are not able to tell your physicians what you want.
Every state has laws governing Advance Care Directives. In Texas, there are two parts. The first is a directive to physicians that lets you leave instructions on what you do or do not want to occur in the event that you are diagnosed with a terminal illness or irreversible condition and are unable to speak for yourself. The second part designates a medical power of attorney, sometimes referred to as a healthcare agent, to speak for you if you are not able to speak for yourself.
Every adult of sound mind has the right to be informed of his or her medical condition, prognosis and treatment options. Every adult has the right to make his or her wishes known by the legal document known as an Advance Care Directive. If you want to complete an Advance Care Directive, state law requires that you do so with two competent adults who are not related to you acting as witnesses.
What happens if I don't have an Advance Care Directive?
If you do not have a living will, are not able to speak for yourself and have a terminal condition, your physician and certain family members may make critical decisions for you.
When should you make your Advance Care Directive?
It is never too early to complete an Advance Care Directive. This document protects your wishes and gives clear direction concerning future treatment you may or may not receive, based on your wishes.
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