Important Health Care Decisions

Advance Directives

This handout provides information about your rights to accept or refuse medical treatment under Colorado law. Advance Directives are written instructions that are used if you become unable to think clearly or speak for yourself. They are written ahead of the time for when you might need them. You are not required to have an advance directive in order to receive care and treatment. Longmont United Hospital will honor your Advance Directive wishes. The following kinds of advance directives are recognized in Colorado: the Living Will, the Medical Power of Attorney, the “CPR” Directive, and Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST). These documents do not take away your right to decide what you want while you are able to do so. These documents provide a written record of your expressed wishes.

If you have any questions regarding Advance Directives during your hospital stay please ask your nurse to contact the Social Work Department. For more information regarding Advance Directives please visit the following website: www.coloradoadvancedirectives.com.

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will is a document that tells your doctor what to do about artificial life support measures if you have an injury, disease, or illness that is not curable or reversible and is terminal. Your Living Will directs your doctors to continue or discontinue, as you direct, life-sustaining procedures, artificial nutrition, and artificial hydration.

What is a Medical Power of Attorney?

The Medical Power of Attorney is a document you sign to appoint someone to make your health care decisions for you. The person you name is called your “agent.” Your agent is supposed to act according to your wishes and values.

What is a Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Directive?

If you have a CPR directive and your heart and/or lungs stop, then paramedics, doctors, emergency personnel or others will not try to press on your chest or use breathing tubes, electric shock or other things to get your heart/lungs working again.

What is a Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) Form?

The MOST form gets all a person’s key choices for life-sustaining treatments in one place. It includes CPR, general scope of treatment, antibiotics, artiicial nutrition and hydration. This is a portable physician order form.

What are the Five Wishes?

The Five Wishes is a booklet that deals with personal, emotional and spiritual needs as well as your health care wishes. It helps you to choose the person you want to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. Substitute Decision Makers (Medical Proxies).

Under Colorado law, family members and close friends have the right to select a substitute decision maker (proxy) for a patient who doesn’t have an advance directive. The patient’s spouse, parent, adult child, grandchild, brother/sister, or close friend may be chosen as the proxy by mutual agreement. A proxy can handle decisions about medical care and must act in the best interest of the patient.

Longmont United Hospital: Planetree Designated Patient Centered Hospital. Accredited by the Joint Commission.