Your Guide to MedStar NRH
Making Decisions about Your Medical Care
Information for Patients
Information about an Advance Directive is given to you in compliance with a federal law called thePatient Self Determination Act. This law is designedto protect your rights to make decisions about yourmedical care, including the right to accept or refusetreatment.
As an adult, you have these rights
• You have the right to choose what medical treat-ment you do or do not want both now and in thefuture.• You have the right to appoint someone to make your medical decisions for you if you cannot makethose decisions for yourself.• You have the right to tell your doctor, nurse,family or friends about your decisions or you canput your wishes in writing.• You can change your mind about your medicalcare at any time.
Why should I be involved in decisionsabout my medical care?
Decisions about your care affect your health andwellbeing. You are the best one to make decisionsabout the type of care you want or do not want.
How can I be involved in decisionsabout my medical care?
• Talk with your family, friends, doctor, nurse, casemanager or social worker about decisions youwant to make.• Ask questions about your care.• Let those involved in your care know about yourwishes.• Talk to those involved with your care about what you want should you become unable to makedecisions for yourself.• You can write your wishes down in an AdvanceDirective.
What is an Advance Directive?
An Advance Directive is a document in which youwrite your wishes for the type of care you want if you are not able to make decisions for yourself.There are two kinds of Advance Directive.In a Living Will, you note what kind of medical care you want or do not want if you become unable tomake treatment decisions. Usually, a Living Willapplies to when a person is in a terminal condition.In a Durable Power of attorney for Health Care, you appoint a person to make decisions about yourmedical care if you are not able to do so yourself.You can combine these two kinds of AdvanceDirectives into one document.
Who will make treatment decisions forme if I do not have an AdvanceDirective?
If you do not appoint someone or leave specificinstructions about your wishes, D.C. law allows your relatives to make decisions for you.
Who must follow what I say in myAdvance Directive?
As long as your wishes are legal, anyone involved in your care must follow your wishes or try to findsomeone who will.
What if my doctor and I do not agreeabout my care?
Your doctor will treat you according to what he orshe believes is best for you. If you do not agree with your doctor about your treatment, you may want tofind another doctor.