Social workers support a patient’s right to participate in making decisions about their health care. They provide patients and families with information about advanced health care instructions, including living wills, health care treatment directives and durable powers of attorney.
Barnes-Jewish Hospital respects a person’s right to participate in planning his/her health care, either directly through written instructions, or by appointment of another person to make decisions when the patient is unable to communicate his/her wishes.
An “advance directive” is one of several health care instructions such as a living will, health care treatment directive or durable power of attorney for health care. Your advance directive becomes effective only if you are unable to participate in making decisions for yourself. It is important that you discuss your preferences with your family, physician, clergy, attorney and friends so that others will be aware of your wishes.
Should you decide against completing a written advance directive, it is still a good idea to select a spokesperson to speak for yourself, should you be unable to communicate your wishes. Be sure to let your doctor and hospital staff know whom you have selected.
If you are interested in obtaining an advance directive, you may contact a social worker at 314-362-5574.