Advance directives are written instructions that allow a patient to either state choices for medical treatment or designate who should make treatment choices if the patient should lose his or her decision-making capacity. The instructions can also include oral statements by the patient. BroMenn encourages the use of advance directives. Advance directives generally take the form of a living will or power of attorney for health care.
Advance Directive Policies
Specifically regarding advance directives, it is BroMenn's policy to:
- Provide information to all patients regarding their rights.
- Document in the patient's medical record whether or not the individual has an advance directive such as a Living Will or Power of Attorney for Health Care.
- Provide care without discrimination against a patient based on whether or not the individual has Living Will or Power of Attorney for Health Care.
- Ensure compliance with Illinois law regarding Living Will or Power of Attorney for Health Care.
- Provide for education of staff and the community on issues concerning advance directives such as Living Will and Power of Attorney for Health Care.
A living will is a document in which you can direct the kind of life-prolonging medical care you want to receive if you become terminally ill and are unable to make your own decisions.
Power of Attorney for Health Care
A durable power of attorney for health care is another kind of advance directive: a signed, dated and witnessed document naming another person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. A legal power of attorney for health care takes precedence over a living will.
If an advance directive has not been signed, Illinois law allows, under certain circumstances, another person to make health care decisions on your behalf. A surrogate will be named if you are unable to make decisions for yourself. The person who will be named your surrogate may or may not know you best.
Policies respecting other patient rights are on file in Administration and available to the public.
For more information on advance directives, contact our Chaplaincy Department at 309.268.5499. Some advance directive forms are available online at the Illinois Department of Public Health website.