Every day we make decisions in our life that can range from something simple such as, “What is for dinner?” or “What am I going to wear today?” To something more serious like, “Who do I want to speak for me if I am unable to make my own healthcare decisions?”
While one hopes to never be in a serious condition, at some point, this may be a possibility. It is important to have conversations with loved ones while still able to do so. Advance care planning can help guide healthcare decisions based on personal values, goals, and preferences. It provides direction to loved ones and healthcare professionals when they cannot make and communicate their own healthcare decisions. Advance care planning also gives a person the ability to choose someone to speak on their behalf (this person should be trusted to follow the individual’s goals/wishes) if they cannot communicate.
Suggestions to help guide conversations related to healthcare and end-of-life planning:
- Who do you want to make healthcare decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself?
- What kind of medical treatment do you want? Or not want?
- Do you want to go to the hospital?
- How comfortable do you want to be?
- Do you want to have a feeding tube or IV’s? If so, permanently or on a trial basis?
- Do you want to be treated with antibiotics?
These decisions can be written down in an advance directive so others will know those decisions made by an individual.
In Ohio, these Advance Directives are:
- Healthcare Power of Attorney ( aka: “Proxy,” “Agent,” or “Surrogate”): documents the person you decide on to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.
- Living Will: documents what kinds of medical treatments you would want, or not want, at the end of life.
Advance Directives in Ohio do not require a doctor’s signature and are not doctor’s orders.
In Indiana, the POST (Physician Order for Scope of Treatment) is a form that is filled out by an individual with their preferences for end-of-life care and is signed by a physician. Once signed by the physician, the POST form becomes a doctor’s order.
If you have questions about End-of-Life & Advanced Care Planning, please get in touch with our team. We are here to guide you and give you answers.