An advance directive is a document stating your health care choices or naming someone to make choices for you if you become unable to do so.
Iowa Law provides two types of Advance Directives:
- The Living Will
- The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (Sometimes called a medical Power of Attorney)
A Living Will is a document directing your physician that certain life-sustaining procedures should be withheld or withdrawn if you are in a terminal condition and unable to decide for yourself.
A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a document through which you name another person known as your "Attorney-in-fact" or "agent" to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to make them. This agent is required to make decision according to directions you may provide in the document or otherwise. If your wishes are not known, your agent shall make decision in your best interests. Sometimes this document is also referred as a Medical Power of Attorney.
If you have an advance directive it is very important that you or someone else has easy access to a copy of your directive. Since you can make copies of your directive be sure that those who would be involved with your health care when a situation arises already has a copy. The original can be stored in a safe or safety deposit box.
For more information regarding advance directives, contact the Social Services Department at Clarke County Hospital 641.342.5432.