Governor Declares "Living Wills + Advance Directives Week"

New Forms in Use for 2015

(October 13, 2015) Ohio Gov. John Kasich declared October 11-17, 2015, as Living Wills and Advance Governor S ProclamationDirectives Week. The designation is meant to inspire, educate and empower physicians, hospitals, health care workers, and the public about the importance of advance care planning.

Advance directives are legal documents that allow patients to spell out their decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They are a way to make family, friends, and health care professionals aware of your wishes and avoid confusion later on.

“It is our hope that Living Wills and Advance Directives Week will prompt patients to have thoughtful conversations about their health care decisions," said OOA President Robert W. Hostoffer, Jr., DO. "Making a living will can bring peace of mind to not only the patient, but also family and caregivers because it explains what kind of medical care you want to receive when you cannot speak for yourself."

Several forms are new this year (link below), per state law that went into effect March 2014 and changed the Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) process. The change permits a patient (principal) to give someone (an agent) immediate access to his or her medical information (protected health information) that otherwise might be prohibited by federal privacy regulations. Other major changes to the HCPOA allow the patient/principal to recommend a person who, should circumstances dictate, a probate court should appoint as guardian of the patient’s estate (assets) or person(s) (e.g., the patient, children of the patient). A guardian of the estate makes financial decisions on behalf of the patient/principal, and a guardian of the person makes non-medical personal decisions such as regarding food, clothing and living arrangements.

The OOA worked with a coalition including the Ohio State Bar Association, Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio State Medical Association, and Midwest Care Alliance to release the new Advance Directives forms for 2015.

Resources:

Advance Directive Forms 2015
It's Never too Early to Start your End-of-Life Planning
Managing Pain Effectively to Assure Quality of Life at End of Life
Osteopathic Medicine and End-of-Life Care

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