When you or a loved one is admitted to our hospice or palliative care program at Valley Baptist, it’s important that you be prepared for every outcome. Should you or a loved one become incapable of expressing your wishes or making a decision, advanced directive documents can help determine the next course of action.
These documents can help families as well as health care providers determine the next stage of treatment when someone is incapable of making a decision. Documents include:
A Living Will (or Directive to Physicians, Families and Surrogates)
Living wills are legal documents describing the kind of medical or life-sustaining treatments you choose in the event of being seriously or terminally ill. It does not give someone else the power to make decisions for you.*
A Medical Durable Power of Attorney
A DPA grants a person you trust the power to make health care decisions on your behalf in the event you are medically incapacitated and are unable to make those decisions on your own.*
A Do Not Resuscitate Order (DNR)
Valley Baptist staff will always help patients in the event their heart stops or if they stop breathing, unless given instructions not to do so. A DNR is a request not to conduct CPR in the event your heart stops or you stop breathing. DNR orders may be made for your doctor for inclusion in your medical chart and are accepted by doctors and hospitals in all states.
Should You Have an Advance Directive?
The creation of an advance directive helps ease the stress of family and doctors before you’re faced with a serious injury or illness. Using an advance directive, you can help guide the course of medical treatment throughout your hospice care.
Most patients who have an advance directive are older adults, but it’s never too soon to take preventive measures in the event of an emergency.
Your Health Care Agent
The person you choose as your agent:
- Must be 18 years or older
- Cannot be your treating health care provider
- Cannot be an employee of your health care provider, unless related to you
- Cannot be your residential care provider, unless related to you
- Has the authority to make health care decisions on your behalf only when your attending doctor certifies you as incapable of deciding for yourself
- Must make health care decisions on your behalf if you do not have documented health care directives, even in the result of end of life
- Cannot make a decision for you if you object, regardless of capacity
- Cannot make a decision for you if a medical power of attorney is in effect
For more information regarding advance directives, please ask for one of our hospice specialists at (956) 389-1194.*Living wills and DPAs are legal in Texas but may not be in other states. However, these documents may still help guide treatment by your doctor or loved ones.