It is the policy of University Hospital to honor, in accordance with law, each adult patient's right to make decisions regarding treatment, including the right to consent to, refuse or alter treatment plans and the right to formulate advance directives that will be honored if the patient becomes unable to make decisions. In compliance with state and federal laws, hospitals are required to provide this information to every patient who is admitted to the hospital.
Questions about medical care at the end of life are very important today because of the ability of medical technology to prolong life. The best way for you to be in control of your medical treatment in such a situation is to record your preferences in advance.
If you have an advance directive such as a living will and durable power of attorney for health care, a copy will be made and placed on your medical record. You do not need an advance directive to receive medical care; however, if you wish to obtain a form while you are hospitalized, please ask your nurse. Should you decide to sign the documents while hospitalized, you or your family is responsible for obtaining witnesses other than hospital employees to be present when you sign the forms.
MAKING INFORMED DECISIONS DURING ADVANCED ILLNESS / Living Wills / Advanced Directives
When recovery from an illness is not expected, patients and families need to consider a multitude of issues, even in the midst of sorrow. Others, seeking to decide what should be done for them when certain catastrophic circumstances arise, often do not know where to turn for information and planning. These issues include living wills and other advanced directives for care.
Both Georgia and South Carolina have laws regarding the establishment of advanced directives in the event a patient becomes incapacitated due to illness.
- You can read more about Georgia's laws and download forms regarding your care by logging on to the Georgia Division of Aging Services.
- You can read more about South Carolina's laws and download forms regarding your care by logging on to the South Carolina Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging.
- University Hospital's Right to Decide - Communicating Your Health Care Choices
Advance Directive Forms
University Health Care System also is proud to offer a link to the "Completing a Life" website created at Michigan State University. This site can help patients and families learn about the practical, emotional, spiritual and medical issues faced by those dealing with advanced illness. With more than 100 topic pages, it invites patients to take charge, find comfort and reach closure through such areas as getting good pain relief and other supportive care talking with health professionals, family communication, writing advance directives and finding answers to spiritual questions. The site offers specific pages for family members and a chance to read personal stories of others who have addressed the end-of-life journey.
Click here to access this resource.
Created at Michigan State University by the Communication Technology Laboratory and the Palliative Care Education & Research Program
Supported by Michigan State University Cancer Center and Office of Libraries, Computing and Technology, the Henry Ford Health System, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Michigan Department of Community Health
It is the intent and desire of University Health Care System to resolve concerns and complaints utilizing the mechanisms of the Care Line and complaint processing procedure described in "Your Satisfaction/Compliments/ Concerns." Other avenues for registering concerns or for raising concerns that do not involve the hospital directly include the following:
Private insurance payment and hospital charge issues:
- Consumer Services Division, Office of the Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, 7th Floor, West Tower, Floyd Building, 2 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Atlanta, GA 30334.
- Concerns addressed to Medicare should be handled as described in "An Important Message from Medicare" or by calling the Georgia Medical Care Foundation at 800-979-7217.
- The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights may be contacted at 800-368-1019.
- The Joint Commission (TJC) may be contacted at 630-792-5800.
- Issues involving nursing homes and residents or their families may be addressed to the Georgia Division of Aging Ombudsman at 888-454-5826.
In many instances, involving the patient's physician or the supervising hospital personnel will result in the quickest resolution of complaints or concerns. Or, you may call the Care Line at 706-774-2273 or hospital extension 4-2273.