New Advance Directive Form Now Available
Holland Hospital and its physician medical groups are now offering patients a new advance directive form called Making Choices Michigan. The advance directive form, sometimes referred to as a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare form, allows a person to appoint another individual to serve as an authorized patient advocate should the person become unable to make decisions for himself or herself.
The new form is a simplified version of its predecessor. “The main goal of the new form is to make it more user-friendly -- easier to understand and to complete,” explains Holland Hospital Senior Chaplain, David Blauw, chair of Holland Hospital’s Healthcare Ethics Committee. “Secondly, it is a parallel form to one being developed for all of Kent County. Our goal is to have a common document in our region for the public to use as they think through the question, ‘Who will speak for you, if you cannot speak for yourself concerning healthcare decisions?’”
Federal law requires hospitals to ask each inpatient and home health patient, upon admission, whether they have done advance care planning. While completely voluntary, the Making Choices Michigan form helps provide assurance that a patient’s wishes will be carried out. “The primary benefit of having an advance directive document in place is peace of mind,” says Blauw. “It assures that your values about healthcare, including the right to refuse certain treatment, will be carried out in the event you cannot speak for yourself. It assures that a spokesperson of your own choice interprets your values and goals of care to healthcare professionals in a timely and efficient way; and that your wishes will be honored.”
Individuals who have previously executed advance directive forms do not have to resubmit their information. In early fall, Holland Hospital’s Center for Good Health plans to host several informational workshops about Advance Care Planning.
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