Patient Rights and Responsibilities at UnityPoint Health - Meriter

Patient Rights

Advance Medical Directives

An advance medical directive tells, in writing, your choices about the treatments you want or do not want or about how health care decisions are to be made for you if you become incapacitated and cannot express your wishes. An advance medical directive expresses your personal wishes and is based upon your beliefs and values. Since an advance directive speaks for you when you are unable to do so, it may provide guidance to your health care providers and relieve your family and friends from the burden of guessing about what types of care and treatment you want to receive.

We hope that you will communicate your desires to the health care workers who will be taking care of you and think about completing a written advance medical directive if you have not already done so. Treatment is not dependent upon you having completed an advance medical directive. In the event that no advance medical directive exists, standard medical policies and guidelines are in place to instruct our physicians and other health care employees; medical care will be provided according to standard procedures until a written advance medical directive is presented that directs otherwise.

How Do I Make an Advance Medical Directive?

Wisconsin-Specific Forms

UnityPoint Health – Meriter recommends that adults clarify their wishes for medical care before a hospital stay. Wisconsin-specific forms are available through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services website.

Take a Class on Advance Medical Directives

Register for the Advance Care Planning: Completing your Power of Attorney for Healthcare class. At this free class, you will learn more about advance care planning and how to complete an advance medical directive. Individuals seeking to update their advance medical directives are also welcome to attend.