Who will make decisions about your medical care if you are unable to speak for yourself? What kind of medical care do you want if you are too ill or hurt to express your wishes?
Advances in medicine and technology make it possible to keep patients alive indefinitely, even though there may be little or no hope of recovery. Planning ahead for the care you want in critical situations is vital. You can make advance directives through informal discussions with your family and/or legal documentation.
‘My Choices’ Booklet
Wyoming Medical Center provides more information on advance directives in the “My Choices” booklet. It includes the following documents to help you communicate your decisions:
- Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare
- Living Will
“My Choices” is provided free of charge. Please make sure that your family, physician and hospital have a copy of your advance directive to ensure your wishes are followed. You can add these documents to your medical record.
Planning in advance helps ensure that your healthcare decisions are honored and it protects your family from having to make difficult decisions when you are unable.
You can add these documents to your medical record and provide your doctor and family with copies.
The WyoPOLST form is a medical order form signed by a provider and the patient or his/her representative outlining the patient’s wishes for end-of-life care. WyoPOLST is an effort to record a patient’s wishes as expressed verbally or outlined in a living will (advance care planning documents) and place them into an actionable medical order to be followed by healthcare providers throughout the state. The WyoPOLST form is not intended for everyone; it’s intended for people who have a limited life expectancy of a few years at most. Its purpose is to keep the patient and their providers at the center of end-of-life care. Download the WyoPOLST form here.
According to Donate Life, more than 114,000 Americans are awaiting organ transplants. Sadly, an average of 18 people die every day because of a shortage of donated organs.
Wyoming Medical Center understands the importance of organ and tissue donation. In 2012, WMC was the only hospital in Wyoming to receive the Silver Medal of Honor for exceeding national benchmarks in organ procurement. In 2016, we have earned the Gold Medal.
Of the Americans awaiting transplants, more than 150 are Wyoming residents. As the regional healthcare center of central Wyoming and a longstanding partner with the Donor Alliance program, we work closely with Donate Life Wyoming. This helps ensure appropriate documentation and transportation of donated organs to dozens of Wyoming recipients every year.
The most common transplant organs and tissues needed in the United States include the heart, lung, liver, kidneys and small bowel. Approximately 92,000 Americans await kidneys, more than 16,000 await livers, and 3,000 need hearts. Important organs aren’t the only life-saving donations needed by people on waiting lists across the country. Certain tissues are also needed. Recoverable tissues include bone, tendons and corneas as well as veins, valves and skin.
You can make a difference in someone’s life. More than 60 percent of Wyoming residents have said “yes” to becoming an organ donor, and you can join them. If you are interested in learning more about organ and tissue donation, visit DonateLifeWyoming.org. If you already know you’d like to become an organ donor, complete one of the steps below:
- Register online at the Donor Registry at DonateLifeWyoming.org or call (888) 256-4386.
- Check “yes” when obtaining or renewing your driver’s license or state ID card.