Under Iowa law, you have the right to accept or refuse treatment. State law provides two ways for you to give directions (Advance Directives) about medical care you would want, or care you do not want, should you lose your decision-making capacity.
The first is the Living Will. This is a written statement directing what types of medical treatment you wish to accept or refuse if you become terminally ill and lose the ability to make decisions on your medical treatment.
The second is Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decision Making (DPA-HC). In this document, you name another person, called the attorney in fact (AIF), to make decisions about your medical treatments if you lose the ability to make medical treatment decisions. In addition to choosing an AIF, the DPA-HC allows you to give your AIF instructions about your wishes for treatment.
You and two witnesses must sign both documents or have them notarized. You may revoke both documents at any time. If you have an Advanced Directive and/or Living Will, give a copy to our hospital and clinic staff so that they can include it in your medical record.
The "Five Wishes" living will form lets you decide exactly how you wish to be treated if you would become seriously ill. It is a tool that can be used to discuss and communicate your choices clearly with family members and physicians. "Five Wishes" forms are available at Baum Harmon Mercy Hospital and Clinics or click on the link below: