If you are 18 or older and mentally competent, you have the right to make decisions about your medical treatment. If you want to control decisions about your health care, including during times you are unable to express your wishes, you will need an Advance Directive. An Advance Directive is a set of instructions where you outline the health care you want in the event you lose the ability to make or communicate decisions.
There are three kinds of Advance Directives:
You can obtain these forms from your nurse or physician.
There may be a time when you are called on to make a decision about health care for yourself or for a loved one. This can often be a confusing, frightening or painful task. Increased understanding among patients, families and health care providers may lessen your fears and help relieve the burden that such difficult decision making may cause.
PMC has resources to help you in such circumstances, and our staff is prepared to listen and respond to you. We can help get all the facts you need to make a decision and can offer feedback and suggestions. While we will never come up with a final answer or tell you what to do, staff members have been educated in medical ethics and can share their knowledge and experience.
Please let your nurse know if you would like the hospital to arrange for a person knowing sign language to assist with communications.