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Advance Directives

Mahaska Health Partnership Educates on Advance Directives

What kind of medical care would you like to receive if you were too ill or hurt to express your wishes? Mahaska Health Partnership encourages people to convey their wishes ahead of time in advance directives.

According to the Joint Commission, a healthcare accreditation agency to which Mahaska Health Partnership belongs, advance directives are legal documents that allow a person to specify how they want their end-of-life care to be handled and can designate another person to make these healthcare decisions in the event that they cannot do so themselves. Advance directives are a communication tool for people to talk to their families about what their future wishes are.

“Anyone over eighteen should really be thinking about how they want their medical care to be handled if an accident or crisis situation renders them unable to communicate,” said MHP Utilization Review Nurse Laura Doscher, “It’s important to talk to your family members about what your wishes are when you create an advance directive so they can be prepared.”

Advance directives should be drawn up with your lawyer. Legal forms can be found on the Iowa State Bar Association website under the ‘public’ tab. Advance directives must be notarized or have two witnesses.

“While we do not handle the legal side of the process, Mahaska Health Partnership can supply the information and resources to help you organize your end-of-life care,” explained Doscher.

Although advance directives are not set in stone and can be overridden in certain circumstances, MHP does everything possible to accommodate patients’ wishes. Be sure to bring your advance directive to your provider at MHP so that it can be filed for future reference. Advance directives should be reviewed and updated periodically when significant life, health and age events occur.

For more information about advance directives, contact MHP Utilization Review Nurse Laura Doscher at 641-672-3164. Additional resources can also be found at www.iowabar.org to help you prepare advance directives.