Advance Directives are written documents that serve several purposes:
- They speak for you during times when you are unable to speak for yourself.
- They allow you to describe the type of medical treatment you wish to receive.
- They identify someone close to you as the person you wish to be a decision-maker for you if you are unable to do so.
BHB supports the use of Advance Directives, provided they are consistent with professional standards-of-care, other BHB policies and the law as an important component in open and honest communication between patients and the people who provide their health care.
Types of advance directives:
- The Health Care Proxy (Power of Attorney) is a document completed by the patient that allows them to designate someone to help make medical decisions for them in the event that they can no longer make medical decisions themselves. This person is called your Health Care Agent or Substitute Decision-maker.
- A Living Will is a written, legal document that describes the kind of medical treatments or life-sustaining treatments you would want if you were seriously or terminally ill.
- A Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) is a request not to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if your heart stops or if you stop breathing. (Unless given other instructions, hospital staff will try to help all patients whose heart has stopped or who have stopped breathing.) You can use an advance directive form or tell your doctor that you don't want to be resuscitated. In this case, a DNR order is put in your medical chart by your doctor