Advance Directives are documents which state your choices about medical treatment or name someone to make decisions for you if you are unable to do this yourself. An Advance Directive also lets your doctor or other healthcare providers know your wishes concerning medical treatment when you cannot speak for yourself. It assists your family by allowing them to know what your wishes are.
Idaho Law Recognizes Two Types of Advance Directives
A Living Will is a document which tells your doctor or other healthcare providers whether or not you want life-sustaining treatments or procedures administered to you if you are in a terminal condition or a persistent vegetative state. It is called a “living will” because it takes effect while you are still living.
Durable Power of Attorney For Healthcare
A durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare is a legal document which allows you to appoint another person (or agent) to make medical decisions for you, if you should become temporarily or permanently unable to do so yourself.
It is important to remember that Advance Directives do not take effect as long as you are able to communicate your wishes regarding medical treatment. You may revoke or revise your Advance Directive at anytime. Madison Memorial Hospital will honor your wishes as stated in a properly executed Advance Directive.
You must sign your Advance Directive and date it, or have someone sign the document in your presence and at your direction, if you are unable to sign it. There is no legal requirement in Idaho to have the document either witnessed or notarized. If you want to ensure that your document will be recognized in another state, having your signature witnessed or notarized is a good idea.
If you wish to create an Advance Directive as a patient in the hospital, please ask your physician or nurse for assistance. Our Case Management Department has forms available for creating an Advance Directive. You may contact them by calling extension 4601 or 4602.