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Published on May 24, 2012

Crozer-Keystone Promote Advance Care Directives on National Healthcare Decisions Day in April

Crozer-Keystone Health System celebrated National Healthcare Decisions Day (April 16) in a number of ways. National Healthcare Decisions Day is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.

In recognition of National Healthcare Decisions Day, Crozer-Keystone representatives provided valuable information about advance directives and making healthcare decisions to members of the community in CKHS hospitals. In addition, Crozer-Keystone Health Network physicians will distribute literature and discuss these topics with their patients throughout the week.

Advance directives are documents that state your choices about medical treatment or name someone to make these decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make these decisions yourself. Crozer-Keystone aims to provide patients, visitors and employees with information about advance directives so that they can make informed decisions before this situation can occur. Anyone may lose the ability to make healthcare decisions due to illness or an accident, and end-of-life healthcare decisions may come up at any time. 

Pennsylvania recognizes three types of advance directives:

  • Living Will: A written document that describes your wishes about life support and other medical treatments that you want or do not want to receive if you are unable to understand, make or communicate your treatment choices and have an end-stage medical condition or are permanently unconscious.
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney: A written document in which you name a person you trust as your agent to make healthcare decisions for you.
  • Combination Document: A written document that combines both the living will and healthcare power of attorney.

Pennsylvania law does not require that you use a specific form when you make an advance directive. You should talk to your doctor to help you to understand your medical conditions and the treatment choices you may have before making your advance directive.

Once you make an advance directive, you should discuss it with your family and any agent you name. You should also give a copy of your advance directive to your family, doctor, lawyer and anyone that you name as your healthcare agent.

For more information about advance directives, visit http://advancedirectives.crozerkeystone.org or call Crozer-Keystone’s Senior Support Line at 1-800-CKHS-KEY (1-800-254-7539).

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