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Advance Directives

Advance Directives

It is the policy of OOSC to support and promote the principle that adults have the right to refuse or accept medical treatment. The Life-Sustaining Procedures Act recognizes the right of adult patients to execute a declaration/living will, directing that life-sustaining procedures be withheld or withdrawn in the event the person is diagnosed with a terminal condition, or becomes incapacitated and is unable to make these decisions. OOSC does not condition admission or the provision of care on a patient’s execution of an Advance Directive. If OOSC or an attending physician is not willing to comply with the directive, the patient may be transferred to another facility or physician.

DEFINITIONS

Advance Directives

An individual’s written instruction directing how medical decisions should be made concerning his or her treatment in the event the individual becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to communicate his/her wishes. Advance Directives become operative only when the individual becomes unable to make health care decisions. The substance of an Advance Directive involves clarification about which type of Advance Directive the patient has. There are primarily two types of Advance Directives recognized by Iowa law:

  1. Living Will: A legal document or declaration of health care that directs the physician or what life-sustaining procedures are to be provided, withheld, or withdrawn.
  2. Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: A statement by which an individual names an agent known as an attorney-in-fact to make health care decisions for the individual if the individual lacks capacity, in the judgment of the attending physician, to make health care decisions.The durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is not restricted only for patients with terminal illness or for decisions regarding life-sustaining procedures/measures. The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care allows for care after death regarding anatomical gifts, autopsy and disposition of the body.

Advance directives help to ensure that your values and important wishes are carried out. OOSC can provide you with information to prepare an advance directive, or you may access this information online at the following address https://www.iowaaging.gov/programs-services/elder-justice-adult-protective-services/legal-assistance

If you already have an advance directive, bring it with you on the day of your procedure. The advance directive lets the doctors and nurses know the treatment you wish to receive or the name or names of person who can be contacted to make health care decisions for you if you cannot speak for yourself. An advance directive becomes operative when and individual becomes unable to make healthcare decisions. This situation would rarely occur at OOSC because we are an ambulatory surgery center that performs low-risk elective cases. The potential complications explained to you by your physician and the anesthesiologist would almost always be reversible. Therefore, if in a rare instance a complication requires resuscitation, OOSC will make every effort to resuscitate and transfer a patient to a facility that is able to give the patient a higher level of care. OOSC would send the advance directive with the patient to the facility to be incorporated into the plan of care.

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