"Advance directives" is a general term for seven different legally recognized documents or procedures that citizens of Indiana have the right to complete, informing caregivers how they want their medical care handled if they are unable to communicate.
The types of advance directives are:
- Talking directly with your physician and family
- Organ and tissue donation
- Living will
- Health care representative
- Durable power of attorney
- Life prolonging declaration
- Psychiatric advance directives
You may choose one or more of these advance directives. Federal law requires that each inpatient be asked if he or she has an advance directive.
With the health care options you have today, you might feel overwhelmed or unsure. If you feel uncertain about the right thing to do, you may ask a case manager, social worker or chaplain to talk with you. You may have other family or friends help in this talk. The final decision, however, is yours.
You may also want to consider being an organ or tissue donor. As you may know, donors help several other people have a better quality of life. If you want to be a donor, let your family, physician, clergy, and others close to you know of your wishes. They can support those wishes at the time of your death.
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