Your Rights as a Patient and Resident of a Care Facility – Estate Planning Attorney – Portland, Oregon

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The attorneys with Nay & Friedenberg explain why an Advance Directive for Health Care document is so important in protecting your health care rights.

All Americans have the right to make their own decisions. Unless a court takes those rights away from us, we maintain that right throughout our lives. This includes our right to control our health care. We may consent or refuse any medical treatment, procedure, or medication, even when a doctor has recommended it to us. If we choose, we may execute an Advance Directive for Health Care naming a health care representative we trust to make decisions for us in the event we cannot communicate with our doctors.

The Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA) is a federal law requiring hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, and HMOs to routinely provide information about patients’ and residents’ rights and Advance Directives at the time of admission. Oregon has similar laws.

Under these rules, all health care organizations shall maintain written policies and procedures to inform patients receiving care of the following information: patients’ rights to make health care decisions, including the decision to refuse medical or surgical treatment and to execute an Advance Directive; information about the organization’s policies regarding patients’ rights; providing patients with a copy of the Advance Directive and the name of a staff member who can provide additional information about Advance Directives. The organization must document “in a prominent place” whether the patient has executed an Advance Directive and educate its staff and the community about Advance Directives.

The statute gives deadlines to the health care organizations to provide the information outlined above: the deadline is 5 days after admission into a hospital or long-term care facility and 15 days after initial provision of care by a home health agency or hospice program.

Lastly, the PSDA prohibits health care organizations from discriminating against a patient for having or not having an Advance Directive.

An experienced estate planning attorney can help you in making sure you have the proper documents to fit your planning needs. Contact the Estate Planning attorneys with the Law Offices of Nay & Friedenberg in Portland, Oregon at (503) 245-0894 to set an appointment.