Advance Directives

There may come a time when you or a family member is seriously injured or gravely ill. In the midst of shock and grief, you may be asked to make hard medical decisions. It is important for you to learn about the level, type and intensity of medical care, and to discuss the kind of treatment you feel comfortable with before you make a decision. At Community Mercy Health Partners healthcare facilities, your nurse, physician, a chaplain or a social worker is ready to help you.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is intensity of care?
    Intensity of care simply means how far the medical team should go to prolong a life. Does the benefit of the treatment outweigh the burden to the patient? For example, if the heart of a person in an advanced state of a serious illness that cannot be cured/stops, should the medical team try to restart it? Should they use the intense effort of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, also called CPR?
  • What about using life support?
    Life support systems are machines and methods to help the body continue to function when its own systems fail. These functions include taking in nourishment, eliminating waste, and breathing.
  • What is CMHP's policy on the use of life support systems?
    Community Mercy Health Partners is committed to preserving life and minimizing suffering. Every patient will receive total life support, including CPR, unless a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order is entered on the patient’s chart. This decision is made only after thoughtful discussion between the physician, the competent patient and any others involved in the decision making process, such as the designated person (Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare), patient’s legal guardian or appropriate family member. This decision also involves examining the range of treatments and therapies available, and a plan to address any concerns the patient and family may have.
  • What about pain and suffering?
    We are strongly committed to reduce pain and suffering. A Palliative Care nurse may speak with you about your specific concerns and develop a plan to manage pain and suffering. Staff will also continue all appropriate medical treatment and nursing care, and support you spiritually and emotionally.
  • Do you have a legal form I can use to make my wishes known?
    Yes. CMHP staff can provide you with the Ohio forms for a Living Will, and/or Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare:

In a Living Will you may state your wishes regarding the kinds of treatment you would like to have, and treatment you do not wish to have, if you have an injury or illness from which there is no recovery and cannot speak for yourself.

In a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare you may name the person you choose to make decisions for you, if you are unable to make them yourself.

Making good decisions about the use of life support and the level of care that is appropriate is very difficult when you are under the emotional strain of a serious illness or injury. The right decisions, the balance between the burden and the benefit of a treatment, requires careful thought and conversations with your doctor and family. It is very important that you come to a decision that is right for you or someone you love.

Download a copy of the Ohio form for a Living Will.

Download a copy of the Ohio form for a Durable Power of Attorney.

These documents are available as printable (PDF) files using Adobe Acrobat. If you do not already have an Adobe Acrobat Reader, download a free copy now from Adobe Acrobat.

For more information on Advance Directives, please visit the Ohio Hospice & Palliative Care Organization's website at

Community Mercy Health Partners honors Advance Directives provided they are consistent with hospital policies, legal standards, and the Ethical and Religious Directives of Catholic Health Care Services.