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Monongahela Valley Hospital offers medical power of attorney and living will assistance

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Renee Hurley
(March 27, 2014 - Carroll Township, Pa.)

Most Americans have not exercised their rights to make decisions about their health care in the event that they cannot speak for themselves.

MVH will offer free information and tools to help members of the community public make future health care wishes known to their family, friends and medical providers. National Healthcare Decision Day on Wednesday, April 16, is a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance health care decision making.

Renee Hurley, M.Ed., L.P.C., MVH director of Patient Relations will provide free information, tools and assistance to the public on completing one's advance directives in the hospital's lobby from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Advance directives come in two main forms: a medical power of attorney and a living will.

A "health care or medical power of attorney" appoints a trusted person you select to be your voice for your health care decisions if you cannot speak for yourself.

A "living will" documents the kinds of medical treatments you would or would not want at the end of life, particularly regarding life-prolonging medication or measures if you had an end stage medical condition, were permanently unconscious and couldn't speak for yourself.

"Basically, this initiative asks the question, 'Who will speak for you if you can't speak for yourself?'" said Ms. Hurley. "We encourage everyone to complete their own advance directives so that their loved ones won't have to guess what's best in difficult times."

Also, Pennsylvania Orders For Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) information will also be available. This is a document that can voluntarily be completed by a patient with their health care provider to communicate, as a medical order, his or her goals for care at the end of life.

According to a Pew Research Center study, 71 percent of Americans have thought about their end-of-life treatment preferences, 95 percent have heard of a living will, but only 29 percent have written a living will.

The information and assistance in completing the forms at MVH is free. Parking will also be free for participants.

Visit www.nhdd.org to view a three minute video on the importance of starting the conversation about one's end-of-life-care wishes.

For more information, visit www.nhdd.org or contact Ms. Hurley at 724-258-1076
.

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