Advance Care Planning
Baptist Health is committed to encouraging all adults to have conversations with their loved ones about their future medical care for a variety of situations. This includes not only end of life decisions, but also decisions if you are incapacitated and cannot communicate those wishes yourself. We encourage everyone to think about his or her medical care wishes early, talk to their loved ones about those desires, and develop an advance directive.
We are here to help you have those conversations with loved ones to ensure your wishes are followed, using an advance directive, during those times when you are not able to speak for yourself. Having the conversation ahead of time also allows your loved ones to be sure they are following your wishes if you are not able to communicate your wishes for yourself.
What is an Advance Directive?
An advance directive are directions made in advance for how to handle medical decisions if you are unable to speak or make those decisions yourself. You elect, in advance, oftentimes while you are healthy or perhaps just diagnosed with a condition that could be life-ending, a person to make those decisions for you. These directives can also communicate what your wishes are for certain scenarios like long-term tube feeding or breathing support.
In Kentucky, you can communicate your wishes through directives or orders in several ways:
- Through a Living Will, which communicates directions regarding life-prolonging treatment, food and hydration through artificial means as well as designating a surrogate(s) to make decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.
- Through a Healthcare Surrogate (or Healthcare Representative in IN), whom you appoint to communicate your wishes for you or make medical decisions on your behalf.
- Through a Durable Power of Attorney, where you designate someone to make medical decisions on your behalf, which may also include authority to make personal and financial affairs decisions.
- Through Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST), which is a physician’s order sheet based on the patient’s medical condition and/or wishes for medical care.
- Through an Emergency Medical Services Do Not Resuscitate (EMS DNR) Form, which instructs EMS personnel not to attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) if you stop breathing or your heart stops beating.
You can easily upload those documents to MyChart so medical staff can access your advance directive quickly in a medical emergency.
Learn more about Advance Directives, as well as a Living Will Directive for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Or call the Advance Care Planning hotline.