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. That is why it is important for you to make your wishes known in advance.
What are Advance Directives?
A living will, healthcare proxy and durable power of attorney are the legal documents that allow 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 to complete advance directives. Here is a brief description of each kind of directive:
A living will is a set of instructions documenting your wishes about life-sustaining medical care. It is used if you become terminally ill, incapacitated or unable to communicate or make decisions. A living will protects your rights to accept or refuse medical care and removes the burden of making decisions from your family, friends and medical professionals.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
A Healthcare Power of Attorney is a person (agent) you appoint to make your medical decisions if you are unable to do so. Choose someone you know well and trust to represent your preferences. Be sure to discuss this with the person before naming him or her as your agent. Remember that an agent may have to use his or her judgment in the event of a medical decision for which your wishes aren’t known.
For more information, visit dukeregional.org/plan.
National Minority Donor Awareness Week is a nationwide observance to honor the generosity of multicultural donors and their families, while also emphasizing the critical need for people from diverse communities to register their decision to donate life as organ, eye and tissue donors.
- Minorities make up 36 percent of the U.S. population and comprise 57 percent of individuals currently on the U.S. transplant waiting list.
- African-Americans are four times more likely than Caucasians to be on dialysis because of kidney failure, which must often be treated by kidney transplantation.
- Diabetes, a leading cause of kidney failure in the U.S., is estimated to be four to six times more common in Latinos/Hispanic-Americans.
- 18 percent of all patients awaiting organ transplants in the U.S. are of Latino heritage.
In North Carolina:
- African-Americans make up 21.4 percent of North Carolina’s overall population, but represent nearly 51 percent of North Carolinians waiting for an organ transplant.
- Of the more than 1,600 African-Americans waiting for transplants in North Carolina, 95 percent are waiting for a kidney transplant.
- The majority of Latino patients are waiting for kidney transplants. Here in North Carolina, 85 percent of Latinos waiting need a kidney transplant.
Did you know?
- Anyone can be a potential donor, regardless of age or medical history. A single donor can save or heal the lives of more than 50 people.
- Every major religion in the United States supports organ, eye and tissue donation as one of the highest expressions of compassion and generosity.
- There is no cost to the donor’s family or estate.
- An open casket funeral is possible for organ, eye and tissue donors.
To learn more, visit DonateLifeNC.org.
Reverend Lisa Brown Cole, Director of Pastoral Care
Duke Regional Hospital provides 24/7 Chaplain support for patients, their loved ones and staff through the ministry of Reverend Lisa Brown Cole, Director of Pastoral Care, Reverend Linda Russell Young, Staff Chaplain, and an Adjunct Clergy Staff made up of volunteer community clergy who assist with evening and weekend needs.
The Chaplains work with all faiths by providing spiritual and emotional support to help patients and their families cope with their hospital experience using the patient’s or family member’s religious beliefs and values. The spiritual and emotional needs of our patients are an important part of the care offered at Duke Regional. Patients or loved ones may ask their nurse or doctor to contact a Chaplain, or they may call the Chaplain’s office directly at 919-470-5363.
Additionally, a Chapel Service is held every Tuesday at 1 pm in the Hospital’s Chapel, located near the main entrance. The Chapel is open at all times for prayer and reflection, and resources from a variety of faith traditions are available.
On Monday, April 14, 2014, Pastoral Services at Duke Regional Hospital will host an Advance Care Planning Table at the entrance of the Hospital’s Cafeteria for visitors and staff to learn about the importance of Advance Care planning, and making those important decisions about your health care before difficult decisions have to be made.
Advance Directives such as Living Wills and Health Care Power of Attorney forms will be available to complete if desired. Additionally, participants will have the opportunity to register as an organ donor.
Take the time to consider these important decisions, discuss them with your loved ones and let us help you complete the documents. It will give you peace of mind that your decisions are known and will be honored.
Call the Chaplain’s office at 919470-5363 if you have questions.