Advance directives are written documents that enable you to communicate your wishes with regard to your medical treatment. Three forms of advance directives are the Living Will, Health Care Proxy, and Do Not Resuscitate order. We suggest that you discuss your wishes regarding your treatment directly with your physician.
A Living Will is a written document that expresses, in advance, your specific instructions and choices about various types of medical treatments. Living Wills are recognized as evidence of a person's wishes if he or she is terminally or irreversibly ill and not able to communicate.
Health Care Proxy
New York State law allows you to appoint someone you trust, for example, a family member or close friend, to decide about your treatment if you lose the ability to decide for yourself. You can appoint someone by signing a form called a Health Care Proxy.
Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order
At your request, a DNR Order may be included in your medical chart. It instructs the medical staff to not revive you if your breathing or heartbeat has stopped. This means doctors, nurses and others will not initiate such emergency procedures as mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, external chest compressions, electric shock, insertion of a tube to open your airway, injection of medication into your heart, or opening of the chest.
If You Have Questions
If you have questions or if you would like more information on your options, contact a medical social worker by calling 607-737-4132.