An Advance Directive allows a person to give directions about future medical care or to designate another person(s) to make medical decisions if he or she should lose decision-making capacity. Advance directives may include living wills, durable powers of attorney or similar documents portraying the patient’s preference.
The 1990 Patient Self-Determination Act is a federal law that says patients, patient’s representative or patient’s surrogate must be informed of their rights under state law to make decisions about their medical care, including the right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment and the right to have an advance directive.
In Pennsylvania, a living will is an advance directive for health care and is a written “declaration” that describes the kind of life sustaining treatment you want or do not want if you are later unable to express your wishes to your doctor. However, there is no law in Pennsylvania that guarantees that your medical providers will follow your instructions in all circumstances. There are steps you can take to express your wishes for future medical care and treatment.
Compliance with the 1990 Patient Self-Determination Act is intended for inpatient hospital admissions, not for outpatient surgery centers. It is the written policy of Associates Surgery Centers to always attempt to resuscitate a patient and transfer to a hospital in the event of deterioration. This good conscience objection is permitted by Pennsylvania Code, Title 20, Chapter 54, Section 5424.
An Advance Directive is not required in order to receive medical treatment in this health care facility, but should transfer be necessary, a copy of the directive, if provided to the facility, will be retained in the patient’s record and will be transferred to the hospital at the time of admission, and will be considered at that time.
We have advance directive information, including forms available upon request. You can also find a brochure entitled “Understanding Advance Directives For Health Care in Pennsylvania” by clicking here. You can also visit the PA Department of Aging Website at https://www.aging.pa.gov/
Each patient will be provided in advance with a written copy of the surgery center Advance Directive Policy in the surgery packet provided at the time of scheduling surgery. The patient is required to sign a form the day of surgery stating they received the policy in advance and will become a part of the patient’s medical record.