You have the power to make choices about your healthcare. An Advance Directive is your voice when you cannot speak for yourself.
What is an Advance Directive?
An Advance Directive is a legal way to tell your doctor the healthcare choices you want or do not want if you are too ill or hurt to speak for yourself.
Who should have an Advance Directive?
Anyone 18 years and older should have an Advance Directive, not just the old and sick. An accident or sickness could happen at any time.
Can I choose to accept or refuse treatment?
Yes, you have the right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment, including foregoing or withdrawing life sustaining treatment or withholding resuscitative services.
Can I complete an Advance Directive?
Yes, South Carolina has two Advance Directive forms
Living Will – A living will tells your doctor that you want to be allowed to die a natural death if:
You are sick or hurt that medical treatment, heroic measures, or artificial means would only delay your dying but not restore your health.
You are in a coma that you will not wake from.
Healthcare Power of Attorney
You name a person to make your healthcare choices. The law calls this person your “agent.” Your agent will make choices for you only if you cannot make them for yourself.
Provides an opportunity to make your wishes known concerning organ donation.
If I make an Advance Directive, will I still be able to make my own choices?
Yes, an Advance Directive tells your doctor what you want if you are too ill or hurt to speak for yourself.
Who should have a copy of my Advance Directive?
Give a copy to your doctor, your family and your agent (if you have one). You may want to give a copy to a friend, your pastor and your lawyer. Bring your advance directive with you when you come to the hospital. You can also give a copy to Health Information Management (Medical Records) at the Regional Medical Center at anytime to be scanned into your computer record so that it is readily available.
If I make an Advance Directive, can I change my mind about my choices?
Yes, you have the right to change your mind. Have the old copies removed and give new copies of your replacement. If you are in the hospital, talk to your doctor or nurse.
Can a hospital refuse to take care of me if I don’t have an Advance Directive?
No, the law states that a hospital cannot refuse to treat you because you do not have an advance directive. The existence or lack of an advance directive does not determine your access to care, treatment, and services.
Does the Regional Medical Center have a policy about Advance Directives?
Yes. It is the policy of the Regional Medical Center to honor your advance directive, if it meets state law. The Regional Medical Center respects your right to accept or refuse healthcare as allowed by law.
How can I get forms for Advance Directives?
Ask your doctor or nurse for forms, or call the Regional Medical Center's Customer Service Office at (803) 395-2430. Customer Service will give you the forms, support, and the help that you need.
The Patient Self-Determination Act is a law that requires hospitals to ask if you have an advance directive. This law also requires that you be given advance directive information.