You have the right to make decisions about your own medical treatment. These decisions become more difficult if, due to illness or a change in mental condition, you are unable to tell your physician and loved ones what kind of healthcare treatments you want. An advance directive allows you to make your wishes known in advance.

An advance directive may be a living will, healthcare proxy or durable power of attorney -- a legal document that allows you to give direction to medical personnel, family and friends concerning your future care when you cannot speak for yourself. You do not need a lawyer in order to complete an advance directive.

Saint Peter's University Hospital will honor advance directives in accordance with hospital policy, New Jersey law, the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, and acceptable medical standards. Saint Peter's does not participate in assisted suicide or euthanasia.

The existence or lack of an advance directive does not determine a patient's access to care, treatment or services. In an emergency situation, physicians and personnel may not be able to take the needed time to review a patient's advance directive without endangering his/her life. In these cases, actions will be taken to treat the patient regardless of the advance directive.

A standard Advance Directive is available for your convenience. Click here for Instrucciones Por Anticipado.

For additional information and help in creating an advance directive, contact Pastoral Care at extension 8565.

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