The Pastoral Care Department can help you plan and prepare your advance directives for medical care. Advance medical directives are legal documents that express your choices about your future care (a Living Will) or name someone to make health care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so (a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care).
It is up to you to decide if you should have both a Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. Through a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, your agent can make all your health care decisions, including those that would be covered by a Living Will. However, if you know you want life-sustaining procedures withheld or withdrawn when you are in a terminal condition, you may also want to sign a Living Will since it provides direction to your physician and you will not have to rely on an agent to communicate those wishes.
Once you have made the decision to execute advance directives, you will want to complete the legally binding forms. Free copies are available from the Iowa State Bar Association (ISBA). You may download forms from their website at www.iowabar.org. On the home page— click on Information then Legal Forms and finally Living Will. You can also write them at Iowa Bar Association, PO Box 4906, Des Moines, IA 50306.
Our chaplains are available to explain the process, answer your questions, properly notarize your signature and make sure that a copy of your advance directives is placed in your chart.
For more information, please call 515-247-3238.