Advance Care Planning is learning about the types of decisions that might need to be made, considering those decisions ahead of time, and letting others know your preferences. An Advance Directive is a legal document that goes into effect only if you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. Advance Directives help others know what type of medical care you want.
The documents needed to make your wishes known vary from state to state. In Ohio, there are two documents used to communicate your wishes – the Ohio Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and the Ohio Living Will Declaration.
The durable power of attorney for health care enables you to name someone to make decisions about your medical care, including decisions about life-sustaining treatment, if you can no longer speak for yourself. It becomes effective when your doctor determines you have lost the capacity to make informed decisions for yourself.
The Ohio Living Will Declaration lets you state your wishes about health care in the event you become terminally ill or permanently unconscious and can no longer make your own health care decisions.