Advanced Directives – You Decide About Your Care
According to Louisiana law, all persons have the right to control decisions relating to their own medical care, including the decision to have life-sustaining procedures withheld or withdrawn in instances where the individual involved is diagnosed as having terminal and irreversible illness.
In order to make one’s wishes known to his/her doctor and hospital, the law gives you the right to make a declaration specifying those wishes in the event that you become incompetent or otherwise unable to speak for yourself.
Healthcare providers use the term “Advanced Directives” to refer to several documents that will help the people caring for you to understand your wishes if you cannot speak for yourself due to illness or injury. There are a variety of Advance Directive documents, including a Living Will, a Power of Attorney, and LaPOST.
It is important for you to notify your doctor if you already have executed an Advanced Directive document. You should also provide your doctor and the hospital a copy of the document to be placed in your medical record so that they know about your wishes.
If you do not have one of these documents, we encourage you to discuss the issue with your doctor. The hospital has sample forms for these documents available should you want to look at them. These are general forms. If you have specific needs, you will want to consult your attorney to make sure that all of your wishes are considered and documented.
What are the Declarations I May Use to State My Wishes?
A Living Will is a legal document you can use to state your preferences regarding medical treatments,
including, but not limited to, life-sustaining treatments and/or who would act as a your decision maker should you become unable to make such decisions.
DURABLE POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document that designates someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. This designated decision maker may make all decisions concerning any life-sustaining procedures provided to you if you should be diagnosed with a terminal and irreversible condition.
LOUISIANA PHYSICIAN ORDER FOR SCOPE OF TREATMENT – “LAPOST”
The LaPost document gives patients usually already diagnosed with life-limiting diseases and irreversible conditions the ability to state their own preferences for medical care if they become unable to communicate. However, you can ask your doctor for a LaPOST document at any time. It allows your doctor to translate your wishes into an order for all health care workers to follow in relation to end-of-life care. The information in the LaPOST document is obtained from the information you give your doctor about your wishes regarding such care.
You Can Change Your Mind At Any Time
Any of the declarations can be revoked at any time. If you no longer have decision-making capacity, your health care representative may revoke the declaration on your behalf if there is new knowledge of a change in your medical condition or in your wishes.
Want To Know More?
Download the declaration of your choice using these links. If you have questions, ask your Lallie Kemp Medical Center practitioner, nurse, or social worker.
If you have any complaints concerning our hospital’s Advance Directive policies, you may contact the hospital Patient Advocate at 985-878-1259 or the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals at 225-342-9500.
None of the information contained on this website regarding Advanced Directives is meant to be legal advice nor is it intended to take the place of counsel, which can be provided by an attorney you may consult on your own.