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Advance Directives

Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

An advance directive is a written document in which a competent adult records the medical care he or she will desire or refuse. A living will and durable power of attorney for health care are two types of advance directives. You have the right to formulate an advance directive. If you have an advance directive, North Valley Hospital medical staff and employees will implement and comply with your wishes.

A living will is recognized in our state by the Montana Rights of the Terminally Ill Act. It is a document that allows you to tell others what care you want or do not want should you become terminally ill or unable to make decisions for yourself. It is important to put these treatment wishes in writing and to talk with your doctor and family. A living will is implemented only in situations in which your doctor thinks you have an incurable condition that will cause your death in a short period of time.

The durable power of attorney for health care is a legal document that appoints someone else to make decisions about your medical care if you cannot. Resource staff at North Valley Hospital can assist you with obtaining this document. The document does need to be witnessed and notarized.

What if conditions change?

Despite the best predictions, conditions do change. You may change your decision at any time. This can be done orally or in writing. If you should need to do this, be sure to let your doctor, the hospital staff and your family know.