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“Advance directive” is a term most people aren’t familiar with until they are in the midst of a medical crisis. This year, why not plan ahead so your family knows exactly what you want for your health care? The Advance Directive is a simple and free form that allows you to direct your healthcare by naming people you trust to carry out your .

You have the right to fill an Advance Directive that will specify, in advance, what kind of treatment you want or do not want under special, serious medical conditions – primarily those that prevent you from communicating with your providers yourself. For example, if you were taken to the hospital in a coma, what would you want the staff to know about your wishes affecting your treatment?

 

Writing Advance Directives is about being prepared.

It is about making your medical wishes known in writing, through a conversation with your Agent (the person you are appointing to make those decisions for you, in the event that you cannot) and any family members who may want to be involved in your care if you were not able to make decisions for yourself. Having everyone on the same page makes it easy for all involved to make the right decision – the decision you would make.

What should I do with my Advance Directive if I choose to have one?

Place a copy with your doctor, lawyer and agent. Let them know that you have an Advance Directive and where it is located.

Consider the following:

–        If you have designed a health care surrogate, give a copy of the written designation form to them.

–        Give a copy of your Advance Directive to your doctor for your medical file.

–        Keep the original in a safe place with other important documents, but NOT in a lock box.

–        If you change your Advance Directive, make sure your doctor, lawyer, and/or family member has the latest copy.

To discuss Advance Directives, get your questions answered and/or pick-up a form for yourself, contact the medical social workers at Fort HealthCare at (920) 568-5284. It’s free and can make a world of difference to your family during what could be a very difficult time. Take a few minutes this month and make your care a priority.

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