Mercy Medical Center will follow the medical treatment decisions you or your agent or advocate make after consulting with a physician, provided that your decisions meet accepted medical practice and current ethical standards. Our policy extends to withholding and withdrawing of medical treatment-for example, respirators, medically provided food or water or antibiotics. We will provide measures to treat pain and make patients comfortable, even if the decision is to withhold or withdraw other medical treatment.
A Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decision Making that does not meet the requirements of Iowa law is not valid. Mercy will follow the document's instructions if the patient's family members and caregivers agree it accurately represents the patient's wishes-and those wishes are in accordance with accepted medical practice and current ethical standards. If the patient becomes incapacitated, Mercy will use previous oral statements by the patient to caregivers to guide treatment decisions.
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 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, give a copy to Mercy staff so that they can include it in your medical record. If you do not have an Advanced Directive, please let your nurse know and we can help you complete one at no charge.