Brookings Health to Provide Information on Advance Directives

Posted: 4/2/2014

Brookings Health System will provide information on advance health care directives on National Healthcare Decisions Day, April 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital front lobby. Staff will also be available to discuss and answer questions about advance directives.

An advance health care directive, which includes a living will and/or a health care power of attorney, is a legally binding document that allows a person to plan in advance for a situation in which the person is not able to speak for him or herself. A living will allows a person to record his or her wishes concerning medical treatments at the end of life or in the case of a serious illness or injury. A health care power of attorney is a person appointed by an individual to make medical decisions when she or he is unable to do so.

“An advance directive gives a patient a voice in his or her medical care and protects his or her wishes when they are unable to make choices for themselves,” said Social Worker Mavis Gehant. “It also eases the burden for loved ones and health care providers, knowing decisions are being guided by the patient’s desires.”

Advanced directives do not go in to effect until a patient is no longer able to make decisions for him or herself. They also stop when a patient regains his or her ability to make decisions.

For more information on advance health care directives, please contact Social Worker Mavis Gehant at (605) 696-7700 or Case Manager Lynne Thompson at (605) 696-8870.

About Brookings Health System

Brookings Health System, located in Brookings, South Dakota, includes a 49-bed hospital, the 79-bed The Neighborhoods at Brookview nursing home, Brookhaven Estates senior living apartments, Yorkshire Eye Clinic, Arlington Medical Center and White Medical Clinic. It is a non-profit, city-owned facility that offers the community a full range of inpatient, outpatient, surgical and extended care services. The emergency room is staffed 24 hours a day and provides around the clock patient needs ranging from minor injuries to life threatening crises. For more information about the services offered at Brookings Health System, please call (605) 696-9000 or visit us on the Web at brookingshealth.org.