Planning Ahead with Advance Directives
GRMC encourages all residents to take the time to complete an Advance Directive for Healthcare Decisions. The two documents are available and implemented in Iowa for this type of planning are the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions or the Medical Power of Attorney and the Declaration Relating to Life Sustaining Procedures or the Living Will. The Medical Power of Attorney assigns the responsibility to another to make healthcare choices for us when we can not. The Living Will states our wishes specifically for healthcare.
- The Iowa Bar Association and National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization feel that the completion of these documents is so important that they have made the forms available at no cost and other useful information on the web at:
• Iowa Bar Association free Living Will form
• Iowa Bar Association information on living wills
The documents do not require the services of an attorney to complete, however both documents must be either witnessed by two people or notarized to become effective. Of the two witnesses, only one can be a relative and neither can be a healthcare provider currently providing services or an employee of that healthcare provider. Forms are also available by contacting Grinnell Regional Hospice at 641-236-2418.
After completion, you will need to provide copies of these documents to your family, your physician or other healthcare providers, your attorney, and/or clergy, if appropriate. GRMC will scan this document into your medical record. This will accessible to you through the GRMC patient portal.
A discussion of your wishes is certainly appropriate with those who received the documents to either clarify or verify your wishes. A periodic review of the documents to determine that they still meet your needs would be appropriate. These documents may be completed by anyone over 18 years of age.