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River Falls Area Hospital

Health care directive

Patients can make their specific wishes known about the extent of treatment they would like to receive through a health care directive. Other terms frequently used to describe these documents are "living will" or "advance directive."

If you are interested in a health care directive form, ask the patient's social worker to review one with you.

Any document written by the patient before he or she enters the hospital can be considered a health care directive. If a document like this exists, make sure to pass it along to the health care team as soon as possible after your relative is admitted to United Hospital.

If your relative has not written down specific wishes in a health care directive, you can help ensure that he or she receives the desired care.

Although the health care team is the expert on the risks and benefits of specific treatments, you and other family members are the experts on the choices patients would make if they could speak for themselves.

After admission to United, it is very important that you tell us these wishes regarding your relative's care as soon as possible. If circumstances change, you will have the opportunity to discuss all plan of care options.

Health care directive forms

Allina Health patients in Minnesota can use these forms to provide their families and health care team members written instructions about their wishes.

Our patients in western Wisconsin can use this form by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services:

arrow points to link to more information about health care directives Learn more about health care directives.

Patient care conference

The patient care conference, which brings the family together with the physician, nurse and members of the team, is another avenue to let the patient's wishes be known. To help reduce any possible confusion or misunderstanding about the patient's care, you should appoint one individual who will act as the spokesperson between the family and the health care team.