Advance Directives
Your Rights...


As a patient of Warren General Hospital we want you to be involved in your care and treatment decision. You have the right under state and federal regulation to prepare “advance directives” which tell us the types of treatment you do or do not want should you become unable to communicate your wishes to us. It is important to discuss these issues with your physician, who needs to be aware of the type of care you would like to receive. Your advance directives are effective only if you become unable to communicate your wishes and your physician determines that your condition is irreversible. You can change your advance directives at any time, verbally or by completing a new form and destroying the old one.

You have the right to create advance medical directives, which are legal papers that allow you to decide now what you want to happen if you are no longer able to make your own decisions about your care.  You have the right to appoint someone to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. You have the right to have hospital staff comply with these directives. You are not required to have an advance directive in order to receive care and treatment in this facility.

What are advance healthcare directives?  There are two common types:

  • Living Will.  This document tells your healthcare team what types of treatment you will want or not want when you get to the end of your life.  A Living Will is only used when you have a non-curable, terminal illness and you are unable to communicate with your healthcare team.  If you are not sure what type of end-of-life treatment you may want, you can use the Living Will to designate a person to make those decisions for you, when the time comes. 

  •  Power of Attorney.  A Power of Attorney lets you name another person to make healthcare decisions for you.  You decide what powers you want to give another person and when those powers will take effect.  Since a Living Will is only effective for end-of-life situations, a Power of Attorney is useful when you cannot communicate for other reasons.     



What should I do with my advance healthcare directive?  You should give a copy to your family doctor, to the hospital, your family, and those people you have named to help make decisions for you if you cannot.

Can I change my advance healthcare directive?  You can change your mind and revoke a Living Will or Power of Attorney at any time.  To do this you need to tell your family or healthcare team that you revoke the document.  Another way to revoke your advance healthcare is to make a new one, sign it and date it. 

What if I don’t have an advance healthcare directive?  As long as you are able to communicate with your physician, you will decide what type of healthcare you want or do not want.  If you are unable to communicate with your physician, your physician will discuss this with your family.  If you have no family, a court order may be necessary to decide what type of treatment is best for you.

Where can I get forms to complete an advanced healthcare directive?  Ask your physician, nurse, or social worker for the forms to make an advance healthcare directive.

If you would like to know more about advance directives or a living will, please check our Frequently Asked Questionsor contact your physician, nurse or social worker.

Click on the links below to view and print documents.

Power of Attorney
Living Will