What is an advance directive?

Advance Directives are legal documents that provide instructions about your healthcare wishes, in case you are unable to speak for yourself.

There are two different types of Advance Directives, (1) a Health Care Power of Attorney and (2) a Living Will. A Health Care Power of Attorney is a type of Advance Directive in which you name a person to make decisions and speak for you when you are unable to speak for yourself and applies in nearly all circumstances. A Living Will is a written set of instructions regarding your preferences for healthcare and goes into effect if you are terminally ill and unable to make decision for yourself, or if you are permanently unconscious.

Any person over age 18 who can make his or her own decisions can complete an advance directive form. You do not need a lawyer to complete advance directive forms. However, the forms need to be signed by a notary or two witnesses. The witness may include anyone except your physician, family members, or the person(s) you’re naming as decision maker in the advance directives.

Download and complete the Ohio Advance Directive Forms packet that includes the health care power of attorney, living will, donor registry enrollment and instructions.

Forms Packet | Click Here

Download Ohio Hospital Association’s advance directive informational brochure for more information on stating your wishes regarding medical treatment.

Informational Brochure | Click Here

What should I do with my completed advance directive documents?

After you complete the forms, you should talk to those people who may be involved in your healthcare decision making, and give them a copy of your forms to make sure that your wishes are followed. Remember to include loved ones, family members and your healthcare providers.

We encourage you to have a copy of your advance directives placed in your medical record at Ohio Surgery Center on the day of surgery.

Are there any limitations to my advance directive documents?

Yes, in the ambulatory care setting, if a patient should suffer a cardiac or respiratory arrest or other life-threatening situation, the staff would take all means to stabilize and transfer to a higher level of care. This will be true per our policies at the Ohio Surgery Center. This is permitted via Federal and State of Ohio Law. If you have an Advanced Directive, please bring a copy of it with you on the day of surgery. We will document in your chart that you have one and retain a copy. In event of an unexpected need to transfer to a higher level of care, we would include a copy of your Advanced Directive as part of our handoff communication and medical record.

If this is not acceptable to you that our policy is to stabilize and transfer to a higher level of care, you must address this issue with your surgeon to be scheduled at an alternative location.