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Patient Legal & Ethical Decisions

Make Informed Legal and Medical Decisions

As a patient at Valley Baptist, we want you to be prepared for all scenarios regarding your treatment. When moving forward with treatment, your medical team will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each of your medical treatments. You may sometimes come across difficult legal and ethical questions. To make sure you’re well informed for these moments, we encourage all patients to ask the following questions (if applicable):

  • Why is this procedure or treatment necessary?
  • What are my alternative options?
  • What results, whether short term or long term, should I expect?
  • Are there risks and, if so, what are they?
  • What happens if I deny getting treatment?

Some patients may want to consider asking a lawyer to prepare a few documents in advance that will help with future health care decisions. We value the rights of our patients and want to keep you informed of what is available to you.

Advance Directives

These legal documents act as a living will that provides instructions regarding who should oversee your medical treatment. In the event that you’re unable to speak for yourself, it outlines your end-of-life wishes. You may execute such directives at any time.

There will be other forms requiring your signature depending upon your particular circumstances. If you’re unable to sign these forms, your spouse, next of kin or a legal guardian may sign for you.

Conditions of Admission

This form enables us to bill your insurance company directly. You’re responsible for any deductible and costs not covered by your insurance. Signing this agreement gives your consent for general nursing care, diagnostic testing and administration of medications as ordered by your doctor.

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Comfort Care Directives

DNR comfort care directives indicate that you don’t wish to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) attempted in the event your heart or breathing stops. These documents detail for health care workers that they may not:

  • Start an IV (intravenous line)
  • Provide respiratory assistance
  • Insert a breathing tube or artificial airway
  • Initiate cardiac monitoring
  • Alternative means of intervention

Patients may consider the following options should surgery be needed and are curious as to how the DNR Comfort Care status may affect health care decisions during operations:

  • Discontinue advance directives during surgery
  • Continue advance directives but modify during surgery
  • Request no changes made to DNR comfort care orders