Your Right to Make Decisions About Your Treatment
A brochure explaining Advance Directives was given to you or will be given to you upon admission to St. Francis. If you have any questions regarding Living Wills or Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, click here, or contact your nurse or the social worker.
Living Will & Advance Directive Forms included in the link, feel free to download.
Getting Help for Difficult Care Decisions
What is Ethics?
The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with the moral duty and obligation. (Webster's definition)
People have the right to make their own care decisions. But making those decisions can sometimes be difficult.
Think of medical ethics issues as situations that arise in health care where there is a conflict about what the right thing to do is.
There are many possible issues, such as:
- What are the options for care
- When and what types of treatment to refuse or accept
- Whether or not to resuscitate a patient / resident
- and many more
What are the most common Ethical Issues?
End of life questions, often involving Advance Directives
What is the purpose of an Ethics Consult?
To aid in the decision making process by bringing together the entire health team - physicians, nurses, chaplains, social workers and others, along with a family or patient / resident so that everyone involved can jointly discuss the situation.
The panel members don't make decisions for the family or patient, but rather act as resource to help clarify and explore options.
What can someone do when faced with a difficult decision?
- Talk to your nurse, the nursing supervisor or the nursing coordinator.
- Ask the social service or spiritual service department for assistance.
- Ask for a Family Care Conference.
- Ask for an Ethics Consult.
When should an ethics panel be requested?
When an individual or family is faced with difficult health decisions, such as:
- End of life
- Life support
- Advance Directives
- Informed Consent - Whenever a patient or family member must give approval of a procedure to be performed. The individual must give their approval in writing, if possible, after being informed about the procedure, including its benefits and possible risks.
Who may request an ethics consult?
Anyone, no matter who you are ...can call for help. This includes a family member, physician, nurse or other members of the health care team, patient, or resident. Just pick up the phone and call 218-643-3000 and ask for the administrative person on call.
For more information specific to Minnesota or North Dakota laws regarding advance directives visit: