In the event you or a loved one experiences a life-threatening illness or injury and are unable to speak for yourself, you should be sure your care provider and family members know your wishes concerning life-sustaining treatment. A living will enables you to give those you love direction in making decisions about life-sustaining treatment including artificially or technologically supplied hydration and nutrition. It is the gift of your voice directing those who care for you.
Advance Directives may also be electronically stored by registering them with the U.S. Living Will Registry. Wherever you travel in the United States, healthcare providers can access your advance directive documents by contacting the registry’s computer. A copy will then be sent to them and kept as part of your confidential medical record. For more information about the U.S. Living Will Registry, call 800-548-9455 or connect with their website at uslivingwillregistry.com.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
A healthcare power of attorney provides you with an opportunity to designate someone who would act as your agent in directing medical treatment should you become critically injured or ill and unable to speak for yourself. By designating and talking to the person you name as your healthcare power of attorney now, you can have confidence they will know your wishes.
Should you choose to complete both a living will and a healthcare power of attorney, the living will takes precedence. It would be the primary document your healthcare provider would follow in times of decision-making concerning life-sustaining treatment.
For more information about advances directive and/or copies of the documents, please go to the State of Ohio Advance Directive site and click on the booklet 'Choices'. If you would like to talk to a chaplain, please contact the Spiritual Care department of any Mercy Health hospital. We would welcome an opportunity to answer any questions you may have.