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Advance Directives

The Advance Directive can give you peace of mind. You cannot predict your health or the care you will need in the future. You can make your wishes known if you cannot speak for yourself later. If you have questions or would like to complete your advance medical directive, we are here to help you.

Tomah Health Social Services staff will assist patients and their families in completing an Advance Directive.

The Advance Directive is a written document giving direction to your family, friends, nurses and physicians in advance of your medical treatment wishes.

  • The first step is to think about what has meaning for you in life.
  • The next step is to understand what each type of treatment can and cannot do.
  • Then decide what kind of treatments you would and would not want (let someone you trust decide for you – you can appoint a person/persons as your agent).
  • No one plans an accident or illness, but by completing your advance medical directive you can retain control of your healthcare by specifying the medical treatments you do, or do not want.
  • Advance medical directives are important whether you are young or old. Injury or illness can strike at any time, regardless of age.

In crisis, your loved ones might not agree on the medical treatments you would or would not want. Writing down your wishes helps ensure your wishes are respected, relieves your family of the stress of making decisions for you and it makes your wishes legal.

Points to Consider:

  • Does pain and suffering have a role in life?
  • Should treatment keep you alive as long as possible and at all costs?
  • When does life stop?

When you have made your decisions, give your advance medical directives to your agent, your family members, your physician and your hospital.

We are here to assist you in completing the form. The forms available at Tomah Health are the Wisconsin Power of Attorney for Healthcare, and the Declaration to Physicians. Additionally, staff here is available to conduct educational sessions on the advance directive. Please call Kaelyn Laylan (608) 377-8444 or Amanda Burkhalter (608) 377-8443 for questions or assistance.

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