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Legal & Ethical Decisions

During your stay at Placentia-Linda Hospital, you may need to make legal and ethical decisions about your medical care. We want to make sure you’re well informed ahead of those decisions.

The first step is to understand your treatment plan. When you first arrive at the hospital, we encourage you to ask the following questions if they are applicable:

  • Why is this procedure or treatment necessary?
  • What are my alternative options?
  • What short-term or long-term results should I expect?  
  • Are there risks? If so, what are they?
  • What happens if I deny treatment?

Secondly, you should be informed about how you can control decisions regarding your medical care. You may want to ask a lawyer to prepare a few documents that will help with future healthcare situations:

Advance Directives

Advance Directives help you plan for what will happen if you are unable to speak for yourself. These legal documents provide instructions regarding who should oversee your medical treatment in that case. Your directives outline your end-of-life wishes and include a healthcare power of attorney and a living will.

When a patient cannot communicate, family members and doctors typically need to make these tough decisions. Family members have good intentions. But they may not be sure what’s best, and they may disagree among themselves. Knowing your wishes in advance will help them make the decisions you would want them to.

If you do not have an advance directive, you can simply discuss your options with your family and have your doctors record your decisions on your medical chart.

DNR Comfort Care directives

DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) Comfort Care directives let healthcare professionals know they are not allowed to:

  • Start an IV (intravenous line)
  • Provide respiratory assistance
  • Insert a breathing tube or artificial airway
  • Initiate cardiac monitoring
  • Provide any alternative means of intervention

If you need surgery, you may consider the following options regarding DNR Comfort Care directives that will govern the decisions of your physician:

  • Discontinue advance directives during surgery
  • Continue advance directives but modify during surgery
  • Request no changes made to DNR Comfort Care directives