Advance Care Planning
One of the most thoughtful and appreciated gifts that one can do for their
family is advance care planning. These are documents that indicate one’s
wishes if they were to become seriously ill and not able to speak for
themselves to drive the decision making process.
Advance directives include:
Durable power of attorney - A legal document that indicates the individual or individuals that are
to make decisions if you are not able to do so yourself.
Durable power of attorney for health care - This is the person or person designated to make medical decisions in the
circumstances that someone is unable to do so themselves. For example,
if someone is seriously ill and unconscious, this document lets the medical
team know who to talk to to participate in medical decision making.
Durable power of attorney for finances - This is a separate document that authorizes another person to take care
of your finances if you are unable to do so. This person would be able
access financial institutions, pay bills and pay for needed medical care.
Living Will - This is a document that allows you to document what your wishes would
be in certain circumstances if you were unable to make medical decisions
for yourself. It is useful as a guide for the durable power of attorney
for health care to refer to when making medical decisions on your behalf.
These documents come in many forms and often include areas to write personalized
directives. There are limitations to these directives as the circumstances
in reality are often much more complicated than can be anticipated when
completing these directives. They are, however, a helpful document to
be used as a reference for the medical care team to understand basic wishes.
Maryland Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST) - A portable and enduring medical order that covers options for cardiopulmonary
resuscitation and other life-sustaining treatments. The Maryland MOLST
form includes that patient’s preference for cardiopulmonary resuscitation,
intubation, tube feeding and other interventions. This form can be filled
out by the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions if the
patient hasn’t filled it out themselves.
Adults (ages 18 or older) who are mentally competent have the right to
make healthcare decisions in advance. For your convenience, we have included
this form to
complete your Advance Directive.
For more information or to reach out to our staff directly, please contact
our offices by calling (240) 566-3030.