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Advance Health Care Directives 101

How To Choose A Hospital Or Other Health Care FacilityThat Respects Your Wishes

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All hospitals will give you Advance Directive forms to complete when you check in. That doesn't necessarily mean they have a record of following them.

If there is a question about a hospital's practices:

  • Your doctor or his or her staff likely knows the answer or can easily find out.
  • Call the head of patient relations and ask him or her. If it is not clear with whom to speak, ask for the President. His or her assistant will likely be able to direct you to the right person.
    • Let the person know about your wishes.
    • Ask if the facility will agree to your wishes.
    • If the facility is agreeable to your wishes, note the date, the person's name and contact information and give a copy to your Proxy and alternate.

NOTE: If you really want to be prepared,  pick and interview a lawyer who is qualified with knowledge of this aspect of the law and experience. You will be assured your directives will be enforced and your Proxy won't have to waste time looking for an appropriate attorney. The legal specialty is known as "Elder law." You can locate an Elder Law lawyers through  offsite link

For information about to choose a hospital in general, click here.

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