Jefferson Regional provides information on advance directives such as Living Wills to all patients 18 years of age or older upon admission to the hospital. This information includes details on current Arkansas laws regarding Living Wills and designating a Healthcare Proxy for medical care decisions.
It’s our goal at Jefferson Regional to provide quality of life through the best care possible. However, determining the best quality of life can often be difficult as it heavily relies on personal preferences. Now is the time for you to establish your preferences, facilitate a discussion with your physicians and protect your medical rights. Download the PDF Healthcare Choices below for more comprehensive information. You may also download PDF versions of a sample Healthcare Proxy and Living Will Declaration.
Living Will Declaration
Additional information can be obtained by contacting:
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday – Friday
Chaplains Office 541-7167 (If no answer, dial “0” and ask to speak to a chaplain)
Guest Relations 541-7662
Social Service 541-7180
Nursing Staff Coordinator dial “0”
Questions and Answers: For Your Consideration
(Q) What is a Living Will?
(A) A Living Will is a legal document that states your wishes about medical treatment if a doctor determines that you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. In a living will, a patient authorizes the refusal of certain types of treatment. This will become part of your medical record; however, you can revoke any part of the document at any time.
(Q) Should I have a Living Will and a Healthcare Proxy?
(A) It is not necessary that you be seriously ill or anticipating illness in order to benefit. A Living Will can help protect family members from unnecessary emotional stress resulting from having to make important decisions in an unexpected crisis. You will also be deciding in advance who will make healthcare decisions for you based upon your wishes.
(Q) Does this mean giving up or stopping care?
(A) Doctors and nurses will continue attending to your needs, and every effort will be made to keep you comfortable. If you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious, the requests you made through your advance directive will be respected.
(Q) What is a Healthcare Proxy?
(A) A patient can identify a family member or other person as a Healthcare Proxy, someone who makes healthcare decisions in the event the patient is not able to do so. Those decisions can involve the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment as well as treatments that are not covered through your Living Will. A Healthcare Proxy becomes a part of the patient’s medical record and can be revoked by the patient at any time.
(Q) How do I make a Living Will or Healthcare Proxy?
(A) You can make a Living Will and/or Healthcare Proxy by completing and signing the forms available at the links above. You must have two witnesses sign the form.
(Q) What do I do with these forms?
(A) Give copies to your doctor, hospital, family members or Healthcare Proxy and keep a copy for your records.
(Q) What if I change my mind?
(A) These documents may be changed or revoked by the patient at any time. Please inform your doctor, hospital, family members or Healthcare Proxy of your wishes. Request that all old copies be torn up and thrown away.
(Q) What if I need help?
(A) Your Living Will involves some of life’s most important choices and ethical considerations. Such choices are not easy, but help is available. Do not hesitate to ask for help from your doctor or another healthcare representative.
Other Special Needs to Consider
Organ and Tissue Donation
Jefferson Regional, through its coordination with ARORA (Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency), can provide information regarding organ and tissue donations to interested patients and their families. To obtain additional information regarding organ and tissue donations, contact your nurse or physician, call one of the following numbers, or visit the ARORA website:
Nursing Shift Coordinator (870) 541-7100
Chaplain (870) 541-7167
Guest Relations (870) 541-7662
ARORA 1-800-727-6726 or (501) 224-2623
VISIT THE ARORA WEBSITE
Jefferson Regional’s Ethics/Organ Donation Committee can help patients or families who are facing complicated choices. The committee offers guidance in resolving ethical conflicts such as the following:
- Anytime the care team needs help making an ethical decision.
- When there is a disagreement between the family and care team.
- When a family member is on life support and termination is considered.
- Any questions or concerns about a Living Will.
Anyone can request a consultation with Jefferson Regional’s Ethics/Organ Donation Committee. For more information, please contact the Executive Office at (870) 541-7271.