Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Living Wills
Advance care planning is the process of deciding one’s future medical care. It helps ensure that, if you can’t speak for yourself, your wishes will still be carried out. This page is designed to help you understand the terminology and the process of creating Advance Directives – legal documents that state your health care wishes. It is important to discuss your preferences with your health care providers, family, close friends, clergy, and whomever you will rely on to speak for you when you cannot.
It is our hope that this page contains all of the tools you need to understand what an Advance Directive is, why you may want one, the steps to completing an Advance Directive, and a list of resources if you have additional questions.
The two most common Advance Directives are:
- Power of Attorney for Health Care (designates someone to make medical decisions)
- Living Will (provides instructions about medical care desired/not desired)
What do I need to know before I write an advance directive?
Methodist offers two ways to help you learn more about Advance Directives. First, we have developed answers to some frequently asked questions regarding Advance Directives: Advance Directives: What you should Know.
You can also watch an Emmi Patient Education program on Advance Directives. Emmi Education programs help people understand and get involved in their health care. You will need to sign in to view this free informational video.
How do I talk to my family about my wishes?
Aging with Dignity
To help our patients start a conversation with their families on their health care choices if they become seriously ill, we recommend "Five Wishes." This easy-to-use legal document provided by Aging with Dignity, a non-profit organization, lets adults of all ages plan how they want to be cared for in case they become seriously ill. "Five Wishes” is best used as a conversation tool to share with your loved ones your specific health care choices.
Caring Connections, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), is a national consumer and community engagement initiative to improve care at the end of life.
Where do I go if I have further questions?
Feel free to make an appointment to discuss and complete your Advance Directives with your health coach or health care provider at your Methodist Physicians Clinic.
Contact the Methodist Spiritual Care Services Department at 402-354-4016 with any questions or to make an appointment. One of our chaplains will be happy to assist you with the forms and notarization.
If you are a hospital patient, ask your nurse to contact a chaplain or administrative coordinator to answer your questions, provide the necessary forms, and notarize your document(s).
We also provide this list of advance directive resources to help you begin a conversation with loved ones.
Where can I find advance directive forms and resources?
Advance directive informational packet
For your convenience, the PDF below is a printable packet of information to help you understand Advance Directives, why they are important, and the steps to complete yours when you are ready.
Included in this packet is an introductory letter, Advance Directives: What you Should Know, Sample Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will forms, blank Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will forms and a list of additional resources.
This packet is also available at select Omaha area Methodist Physicians Clinics.
What do I do if I have ethical concerns?
During the course of your medical care, if you have questions about situations that may arise from treatments, procedures and/or other concerns about your care, discuss these questions with your physician and/or caregiver.
If your situation is not resolved or if you need additional information, contact: