Novant Health West Forsyth Internal Medicine and Pediatrics supports patients' rights to make decisions about their medical care and treatment, especially in situations where they cannot make their wishes known. By filling out certain forms ahead of time, you are able to express your wishes so we can best tailor treatment to you.
What is a living will?
In North Carolina, a living will is a document that tells others that you want to die a natural death if you are terminally and incurably sick or in a persistent vegetative state from which you will not recover. In a living will, you can direct your doctor not to use extraordinary means that would delay your dying.
Example: Using a breathing machine (respirator or ventilator), or to stop such treatments if they have been started. You can also direct your doctor not to begin or to stop giving you food and water through a tube (artificial nutrition or hydration).
What is a health care power of attorney (health care agent)?
In North Carolina, you can name a person to make medical care decisions for you, including mental health treatment decisions, if you later become unable to decide yourself. This person is called your healthcare agent. In the legal document you name who you want your agent to be. You can say what medical treatments you would or would not want. Your agent then knows what choices you would make.
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