8. Definitions that you Must Know

8. Definitions that you Must Know

Advance Care Directive – a written statement of a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment, often including a living will, made to ensure those wishes are carried out should the person be unable to communicate them to a doctor.

Living Will – A written document that allows a patient to give explicit instructions about medical treatment to be administered when the patient is terminally ill or permanently unconscious; also called an advance directive.

Health Care Power of Attorney – Legal authorization for one person to represent another’s wishes regarding medical treatment and care should that person become unable to do so for themselves. Health care power of attorney names the agent as a representative authorized to make decisions regarding care and procedures as stated by the individual.  Each state has their own HCPOA form and you should update your form to reflect your state of residence.  During travel, most states will honor the HCPOA from your home state

DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) – Do not resuscitate (DNR), or no code, is a legal order written either in the hospital or on a legal form to withhold cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), in respect of the wishes of a patient in case their heart were to stop or they were to stop breathing.  This form DOES NOT address any other form of medical care and does not affect any ongoing treatment options.  Each state has its own DNR form and they DO NOT transfer from state to state.   The form must be presented as an original, no copies.

SC – South Carolina Emergency Medical Do Not Resuscitate Order (on white paper)

NC – Goldenrod (on bright gold paper)

MOST (Medical Order for Scope of Treatment) – A NC (only) form for use by physicians and other licensed healthcare facilities to assist in providing information relating to a patient’s desire for resuscitation or life-prolonging measures. These forms are available only to physicians’ offices or other licensed hospital or healthcare facilities. The form is not transferrable to other states and must be an original (bright pink form).

Five Wishes – Five Wishes is America’s most popular living will because it’s written in everyday language and helps people express their wishes in areas that matter most — the personal and spiritual in addition to the medical and legal. It also helps you describe what good care means to you, whether you are seriously ill or not. It allows your caregiver to know exactly what you want.  Families also use Five Wishes to help start and guide family conversations about care in times of serious illness. Five Wishes is helpful for all adults – everyone over 18 years old – and anyone can start the conversation within a family. Sometimes it begins with grandparents and other times it is the younger family members who bring up the topic. Regardless of your age, you can bring this gift to your family.

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