Before an emergency happens, it is a good idea to be prepared. Hospitals, including Patterson Health Center, will request a copy of your Advance Directives. This includes a Power of Attorney for healthcare decisions and a Living Will. A Do Not Resuscitate order will be needed at your home in case you are unable to make that decision. Please see the directives attached below.
Lets you articulate your preferences for end-of-life medical care and life-sustaining treatment. This includes how long to be placed on a venilator, tube feeding, blood transfusions, palliative care and CPR, though this is not a physician's order.
Without a living will, your family will face the burden of determining what your wishes would have been and they will make the choice for you. With this in place, they will not have to decide for you. This is not a last will and testament, and will only be applicable while you are alive and unable to make decisions for yourself.
HEALTHCARE PROXY (MEDICAL DPOA)
You appoint someone you trust to make healthcare decisions on your behalf if you are terminally ill or mentally incapacitated with a durable medical power of attorney. POA document grants the person legal authority as your proxy, agent or attorney-in-fact. Your healthcare agent should try to follow instructions left in your living will, and they can step in to make decisions that aren't outlined in it as well.
Keep in mind that this is not a financial or general power of attorney and is only applicable while you are alive.
DO NOT RESUSCITATE ORDER (DNR)
A DNR is a medical order that must be completed by a healthcare provider.
Also known as a DNAR (do not attempt resuscitaion) or an AND (allow natural death) order
In emergency situations, without a DNR in place, medical professionals are legally required to try and resuscitate you (CPR, defibrillate, intubation).
If you do not want to be resuscitated, you can obtain a DNR order. This order must be signed by a patient and a physician for the state of Kansas, every state has different regulations. If you are planning on moving, please educate yourself on other state regulations.
PHYSICIAN'S ORDER FOR LIFE SUSTAINING TREATMENT (POLST)
POLSTs are also medical orders completed by a doctor, and they are portable so they should be honored by other physicians and medical professionals that you meet, regardless of the location.
POLST forms are part of a nationwide program that ensures your loved ones or clients will receive the care they want. In Kansas and Missouri, they use the Transportable Physician Orders for Patient Preferences (TPOPP) form.
TRANSPORTABLE PHYSICIAN ORDERS FOR PATIENT PREFERENCES (TPOPP)
TPOPP is based on the belief that individuals have the right to make their own healthcare decisions. This is designed to honor values and goals of care for persons living with serious illnesses.
TPOPP is designed to elicit and document a person's preferences regarding CPR and the use of mechanical intervention for breathing, along with other life-sustaining treatments, such as tube feedings, etc.
These are all physician orders and should be upheld by any medical provider/facility.
All Advance Directives can be revoked, unless otherwise stated, meaning that if the client changes their mind, would like a new DPOA, changes to a Living Will or has decided they would like to be resuscitated, this can be performed. A new form will need to be completed with each change.
Please ensure all your local medical facilities and physicians have copies of all your advanced directives.
Keep in mind that if you choose to be a DNR, medical staff must have a copy of this form in their hand to carry out your DNR wishes, otherwise they legally must perform resuscitation attempts.
EMS will look at your refrigerator for a DNR form, please keep a copy there.
Ensure your family and DPOA have copies of your Advance Directives as well.
If you would like help getting your advanced directives in order, feel free to contact Kelsey Williams, RN Case Manager, at (620) 914-1274 or speak with a lawyer if more specific Advance Directives are wanted.