Patients & guests

Home > Patients & guests > Health care directives

Health care directives

Developing a directive

In your health care directive, you can:

  • Identify the person or persons you want to make decisions about your medical treatment if you are not able to do so
  • Note what types of treatments you do or do not want to receive, including artificial nutrition (feeding tubes) and hydration (receiving fluids through tubes)
  • Note your wishes for organ, tissue and/or eye donation or funeral arrangements

If you already have a written health care directive, please have someone bring it to the hospital. It will be copied and placed into your medical record. If you do not have one, your nurse can provide you with a form to write down your wishes and your values. If you want help filling out these forms, hospital chaplains and social workers are available. While these discussions sometimes happen in a hospital setting, we encourage you to also work with your primary care doctor to complete a health care directive.

We strongly advise you or your health care agent to discuss your health care directives with your health care team, including your primary care physician. You may contact the Social Service office at 651-254-9260 or the Patient Representative office at 651-254-2372 for information or assistance. You may also explore information on the importance of health care directives.

If you are concerned that you may be subject to involuntary psychiatric commitment or treatment at some future time, you may prepare a legal document in advance to express your choices about treatment. The document is called an “advance directive for mental health decision-making”. If you would like a copy of this document, please ask your nurse or call the Patient Representative department at 651-254-2372.

Fulfilling your instructions

Regions Hospital attempts to honor all advance directive instructions as long as they are within reasonable medical practice. You or your health care agent cannot request treatment that will not help you or which the doctor or hospital cannot provide. If we cannot follow your written directives, the doctor will have this discussion with you or your health care agent. The doctor will also document the discussion in your medical record. You have the right to seek a doctor and/or hospital that will follow your instructions and may request a transfer to that doctor and/or hospital.