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


(April 11, 2016 - 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.

Monongahela Valley Hospital will participate in National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) on Friday, April 15, to encourage community members to talk with their loved ones, express their wishes regarding health care and complete an advance directive.

Held annually each April since 2008, NHDD exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. This year's theme is, "It Always Seems Too Early, Until It's Too Late."

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 1 p.m.

There are several types of advance directives, but the two most commonly used forms are 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.

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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