"Advance directives" is a term that refers to your own personal preferences about medical treatment in the event you are seriously ill or have become seriously injured. It is a written plan that tells your family, friends, caregivers and health care providers what health care treatments you would or would not want if you could not speak for yourself.
Advance directives are important legal documents, but you are not required to have attorney services to prepare these. Advance directives consist of two forms. One deals with identifying a power of attorney for health care while the other establishes a living will.
Advance care planning is a process that involves you, your health care provider and your loved ones. Although many people are uncomfortable talking about end-of-life health care decisions, it is essential in ensuring your wishes will be met. It also empowers your loved ones and provides them with comfort knowing that they will be making the decisions that you would have wanted.
Power of Attorney for Health Care
A power of attorney for health care is a written document that allows you to legally designate one or two health care "agents". Your agents should be people you trust to fulfill your wishes on health care decisions in the event you are unable to decide or communicate. It is imperative that you discuss with your agents your health care requests for the relief of knowing they are aware of them and will fulfill them.
A power of attorney for health care becomes effective when two health care providers (medical doctor and/or psychologist) personally examine you and sign statements verifying that you are incapacitated and are unable to make health care decisions. Within the power of attorney for health care document, you can also indicate your preference for donating organs upon your death. Donor registration can also be done on-line at www.life_source.org
A living will is a set of instructions to your health care provider on your wishes for end-of-life care in limited situations. The living will comes into play if you are in a persistent, vegetative state or are terminally ill and death is imminent.
Advance Directive Forms
Click here to download Wisconsin Advance Directives forms
Click here to download Minnesota Advance Directives forms
For More Information
For more information or help with advance directives, contact OMC's Social Services Department directly at 715-294-5705.
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