End of Life Decisions

End of Life Decisions. Be specific. Consider different scenarios.

Do you want to be on life support? If so, for how long? Do you want a feeding tube? Make the tough decisions now so your family does not have to later. The more detailed you can make your living will, the easier it will be for your family.

Choose who you want to be your medical power of attorney. This person needs to be familiar with your wishes and able to carry them out for you, if needed. Designate one person to be an alternate. Having too many people can end with disagreements, possibly court cases and family conflict.

Iowa law provides two types of advance directives:

  • Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney
  • Contact your attorney about setting up these documents.
  • Information and tools are also available at our Health Information Department or download and complete the Advance Directives for Healthcare form here.

You are encouraged to provide a copy of your Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney to RMC to keep with your medical records. This ensures they are available in the event of an emergency.

About a Living Will:

A Living Will is a document directing your healthcare provider that certain life-sustaining procedures should be withheld if you are in a terminal condition and unable to decide for yourself. This allows you to state your wishes in writing but does not name an agent. It takes effect when you have a terminal condition and are unable to make decisions.

About a Medical Power of Attorney:

A Medical Power of Attorney allows you to name anyone at least 18 years old, known as your “agent”, to make healthcare decisions for you, in the event you are unable to do so yourself. This agent is required to make decisions according to directions you may provide in the durable power document or otherwise. It goes into effect only when you are not able to make decisions for yourself.