When you are admitted to our facility, you will be asked to file any advance directives that you have previously executed. Those documents – and your wishes – will be made part of your medical record during your stay at Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health.
Advance directives are documents state your wishes about treatment or name someone to make such choices. By stating your healthcare choices in an advance directive, your family and physician understand how you wish for your medical care to be applied.
In the state of Indiana, you may choose one or more of these advance directives:
- Organ and tissue donation
- Health care representative
- Living Will Declaration or Life-Prolonging Procedures Declaration
- Psychiatric advance directives
- Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Declaration and Order
- Power of Attorney
We ask that you complete and sign these documents while you’re still medically stable and competent to make important decisions about your medical treatment. In the event that you become unstable or incompetent, Advance Directives are the legally established means for you to communicate your wishes.
Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health accepts and will follow these directives as long as they are in keeping with the Catholic Code of Ethics and Indiana state law. The hospital will not discriminate against any individual based on whether he/she has signed an Advance Directive. As a Catholic healthcare facility, Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Healthcare Services, approved by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Are advance directives required?
Advance directives are not required. Your physician or hospital cannot require you to make an advance directive if you do not want one. Also, you cannot be discriminated against if you do not sign one. However, you are strongly encouraged to complete advance directive documents so your wishes can be followed.
What happens if I don't have an advance directive?
If you do not have an advance directive and are unable to choose medical care or treatment, Indiana law decides who can do this for you. Indiana Code § 16-36
allows any member of your immediate family (meaning your spouse, parent, adult child, brother or sister) or a person appointed by a court to make the choice for you. If you cannot communicate and do not have an advance directive, your physician will try to contact a member of your immediate family. Your health care choices will be made by the family member that your physician is able to contact.
What should I do with my completed advance directive?
You will want to make sure your immediate family, physician, attorney and other health care providers have a copy. Your health care providers will make it part of your medical record.
Don't forget to keep a copy for yourself. You may wish to keep a small card in your purse or wallet that states that you have an advance directive, where it is located, and who to contact for your attorney or health care representative, if you have named one.
For more information
If you have questions or need help in completing the advance directives, please call and ask for a chaplain in Spiritual Care at (765) 502-4105.