An advance directive is
a written document in which you state your preferences about healthcare
decisions affecting you in the event youre unable to speak for
Living Wills--allow you to state
the kind of medical care you want or do not want, if you are terminally
ill and become unable to make your own decisions.
Designation of Health Care Surrogate--a
person whom you designate in an advance directive to make health care
decisions while youre incapacitated.
Durable Power of Attorney-- a legal
document that can have broad-reaching legal implications. It can deal
with financial as well as health issues. This document should be executed
only in consultation with appropriate legal counsel. A Proxy is a
person chosen by the hospital to make your health care decisions for
you when you become incapacitated in the absence of an advance directive.
For more information about these important
documents, consult your doctor, social worker, hospital or attorney.
DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) orders are written instructions
from a physician telling health care providers not to perform CPR or
other procedures to revive a person in the event of a sudden life-threatening
health development such as a heart attack. Issued with the consent of
the patient or family, they are used for people with terminal illnesses,
or serious or disabling conditions from which they are not expected
to recover, as well as the elderly or very frail who would suffer from
attempts at revival.