Planning for Advanced Health Care- YOUR Choices Matter
Advance Directives: You have the right to make decisions about your own healthcare. There may be medical advances that you want to take part in or possibly, you do not. Whichever is the case, it is YOUR decision to make. At Dr. Mills office, we believe it is important to discuss these decisions before an acute illness or crisis. If the healthcare team does not know what you want in terms of advanced treatments, you may receive treatments such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) being placed on a ventilator or dialysis- any of which may not be what you wanted.
An Advance Directive or Living Will is a document you
fill out “in advance” which tellsDr. Mills and your loved ones exactly what kind of care you
would like if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself. The Advance Directive goes into effect only when the individual is no
longer able to participate in their care. An Advance Directive informs others if you want certain treatment or DO NOT Want certain treatment, despite
your being unable to speak for yourself at the time. You may designate a “Power of Attorney” (POA), someone who has
the legal authority to speak for you on your behalf if you are unable to make
treatment decisions for yourself. This
is a person that you have chosen to make health care decisions for you any
time you are unable to make medical decisions.
If you do not have a “Proxy” named, your family will be approached to
make decisions for you if you are unable. It is recommended that all capable adults, regardless of
health status, complete and Advance Directive / Living Will to let others know
what they would want. You can print out
the Advance Directive Form below, fill it out and provide it to our
office for your Medical Record.
You can change or cancel your Advance Directive
at any time.
POLST (Physician Order Life Sustaining Treatment): A POLST form is a medical “order” that is developed by your physician with you, the patient. Like the Advance Directive, it directs care to the medical interventions you wish or do not wish to have. POLST is not intended for medically stable patients who have many years of life expectancy. (NJHA, Guidance for Health Professionals). However, because it is a medical “order”, caregivers must follow the direction on the POLST form. The POLST form must be signed by a physician or an advance practice nurse in order to be valid. The POLST is “active” from the moment it is signed and MUST be followed by Emergency Medical Services, Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, etc. There is no interpretation needed as it provides clear instructions at the point of contact. It is suggested that the POLST form be located on the refrigerator or a prominent location in the home.
The POLST form should be readily accessible
in your doctors office records AND the home setting. The POLST form “follows you” from setting
to setting such as hospital to rehabilitation to home again. You can change or cancel your POLST
form at any time. You may print out
the POLST Form on our website below.