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Olean General Hospital

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OGH supplying information, registration assistance during National Healthcare Decisions Day

Posted on: 04/08/2010

Free public information and registration assistance will be available about advance directives when Olean General Hospital participates in National Healthcare Decisions Day on Friday, April 16, 9 a.m. to noon, in the first-floor Education Center.

Sister Dana Hollis, OSF, manager of Pastoral Care Services at Olean General, and Nancy Krall, a patient representative at the hospital, will provide information and registration assistance for people to complete healthcare proxies which specify desired treatment in the event they cannot communicate their healthcare decisions.

“By creating an advance directive, you are making your preferences about medical care known before you’re faced with a serious injury or illness,” said Sister Dana. “This will spare your loved ones the stress of making decisions about your care when you are unable because they will know your wishes.”

Advance directives allow adults to specify the kinds of care and treatments they do and do not wish to receive, she said.

Currently, only about 25 percent of adults in the U.S. have executed an advance directive of any kind.

A living will is one type of advance directive. “It is a written, legal document that describes the kind of medical treatments or life-sustaining treatments you would want if you were seriously ill with little hope of recovery and unable to speak for yourself,” Sister Dana said.

However, a living will doesn’t let you select someone to make decisions for you.

A healthcare power of attorney is another kind of advance directive. This states whom you have chosen to make healthcare decisions for you should you become physically or mentally unable to do so. It becomes active anytime you are unconscious or unable to make medical decisions.

During National Healthcare Decisions Day at Olean General, Sister Dana said, “We’ll also have organ donation information available and we’ll provide assistance for those who want to register.” She added, “There’s a tremendous need for organ and tissue donors.”

According to the officials from Upstate New York Transplant Services, “In the U.S., there are nearly 100,000 individuals waiting for transplants and many thousands more in need of tissue and cornea transplants. Due to the shortage of donated organs and tissues, not everyone receives the transplant they need.”

For more information about advance directives or organ donation, contact Sister Dana at 375-6970.

 

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