Sitka Community Hospital promotes a patient's rights to participate actively in health care decision making. Thorough education and inquiry about Advanced Directives encourages patients to communicate their preferences and values to others. Such communication will guide others in the health care decision making for the patient if the patient is unable to do so.
An Advanced Directive is a formal document written in advance of an incapacitating illness that states a patient's choices regarding health care if the patient becomes unable to make decisions. Upon admission to the hospital, your nurse and/or provider will ask if you have Advance Directives in place. SCH will honor the intent of your directive to the extent permitted by law and hospital policy and will abide by your decision concerning treatment, or designating a surrogate decision maker.
The suggested Alaska Advance Directive form contains two important parts. First, the appointment of a health care agent, also called the Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, and second, the instruction section called the Living Will or Health Care Directive.
Sitka Community Hospital appreciates having a copy of a patient's Advance Directives but does not require patients to create Advance Directives and does not discriminate against those who choose not to write Advance Directives.
Sitka Community Hospital provides each adult admitted as an inpatient with written information about:
An individual's rights under Alaska state law to make decisions concerning medical care such as the right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment and the right to formulate an Advance Directive.
Written policies of the hospital concerning the individual's right to make health care decisions and Advance Directive decisions, and the implementation of such decisions.
Sitka Community Hospital supports the goal of educating health care providers and the community about the value of Advance Directives and facilitates their appropriate use.
Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care
A legal document in which a person gives authority for making decisions about his/her health care to someone else. The document is usually written so that this authority is given only if the person becomes unable to make decisions for him/herself.
Health Care Directives (Living Will)
This is the part of the document in which a person stipulates the kind of life-prolonging medical care he/she would or would not want if terminally ill or permanently unconscious and unable to make medical decisions or speak for him/herself.