Ohio DOs Urge Patients to Complete Advance Directives

(October 3, 2014) If you were ever to become terminally ill or unconscious, and were unable to communicate, who would speak for you? Who would decide your treatment – would it be their guess as to what you want? Nobody likes to think about scenarios like this, but having thoughtful discussions about your wishes and completing your advance directive can help ensure you have decision-making power over your own life.

Ohio Living Wills & Advance Directives Week, October 12-18, provides an opportunity to make your wishes known and put in writing the care you want to receive. The OOA, other statewide health care associations, and Ohio hospitals, are highlighting the importance of advance health care decision-making by providing informational sessions and tools for patients, employees and the public to talk about their wishes and execute their own written advance directives (health care power of attorney and living will) in accordance with Ohio laws.

The most common advance directive – a living will – is a legal document that dictates how much life-sustaining treatment an individual wishes to have administered once he or she has been deemed by physicians to be terminally ill or permanently unconscious, and unable to communicate his or her wishes. A health care power of attorney is another common advance directive in which the individual designates another person to make medical decisions when he or she is unable to communicate wishes but may not be terminally ill or permanently unconscious.

OOA President Paul T. Scheatzle, DO, noted the specially-designated week brings awareness to the issue. "Discussing wishes with family members and filling out advance directives relieves families from guess work and potential family disagreement later," he said. "It's also an opportunity for physicians and patients to have this type of conversation."

Advance Directives Packet: Choices, Living Well at the End of Life, created by the OOA, Midwest Care Alliance, Ohio Hospital Association, and Ohio State Medical Association, can help guide your  health care decision-making process. To download the packet and for other resources, go to http://bit.ly/1mVj2Gj.



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