Healthcare Decisions

Advance Directives

In Colorado, a living will, a medical durable power of attorney, a do not resuscitate (DNR) order, and/or the CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) directive are recognized types of advance directives.
An advance directive is a (verbal or written) legal document that states your specific wishes for medical treatment or names a person to make choices for you in the event that you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.
This booklet, Your Right to Make Health Care Decisions addresses accepting and refusing medical treatment, living wills, and resuscitation directives. This downloadable booklet is valid under the laws of Colorado once it is filled out and properly signed.

En español, Su derecho a tomar decisiones relativas a la atención médica
Living Will (Medical Declaration)
This is a document that allows a person to state ahead of time that he/she does not want to be given life-sustaining treatment if the person later is incompetent and in a terminal condition. A living will may include separate instructions about a person’s wishes regarding the provision of artificial nourishment. Living wills normally do not apply to emergency situations (such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation) unless the patient’s terminal condition is already established.

Medical Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions
This is a document that allows a person to name someone else to make medical decisions for him or her when he/she is unable to make medical decisions. The named spokesperson’s authority to make decisions for the patient only begins when the patient is incompetent to make those decisions. Unless specifically limited by the power of attorney, the spokesperson is authorized to consent to or withdraw any treatment. The spokesperson’s decisions carry the same weight as would those of the guest.

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order
This is a decision, normally made in advance of an emergency situation, not to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the event of an acute cardiac or respiratory arrest while in a hospital or health care facility. A physician may enter such an order in a patient’s chart after discussing it with the patient and receiving his/her consent, or after discussion with, and consent of, the patient’s family or patient advocate if the patient is incompetent.

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Directive
A CPR Directive is designed for persons outside of a hospital setting and is made by a person in advance of the situation when he/she may need cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which states the person’s wishes regarding the receipt of CPR.

Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST)

MOST serves as a translation of advance directives into medical orders. It establishes portability of orders to and from health care setting and providers. Because of these unique capabilities, it is designed only for use by individuals who are chronically ill and who are frequently hospitalized.

What is Community Hospital's Policy on Advance Directives?

Community Hospital recognizes and respects the rights of our patients to agree to or to refuse medical treatments. We encourage our patients, their families and physicians to clarify with one another both current and future treatment choices. We are happy to assist you by providing you with a copy of the Your Right to Make Health Care Decisions booklet.

This booklet can help you and your loved ones identify how you would like to be treated if you become seriously ill. It is an easy-to-complete form that lets you say exactly what you want. Once it is filled out and properly signed, it is valid as an advance directive under the laws of Colorado.

We will make every effort to assure that a patient’s wishes are complied with as long as they are understood and can be carried out according to Colorado law.

Where Should I Keep my Advance Directive?
Keep a copy in a safe place where you and family members or friends can locate it. It is a good idea to give copies to your physician and attorney, and to have a copy on hand in the event of an inpatient hospital admission.

How Can Community Hospital Help Me Complete an Advance Directive?
A number of Community Hospital professionals are available to assist you in answering your questions regarding this important issue. We are also happy to provide you with a copy of Your Right to Make Health Care Decisions and a medical power of attorney.

Please feel free to talk with your nurse, a case manager, (970) 644-3130 or the Patient Advocate (970) 644-3154.

Colorado End-of-Life Options Act

While we are developing and finalizing our policies, Colorado West Healthcare Systems d.b.a. Community Hospital wishes to provide this notice to advise our patients that Community Hospital is opting out from facilitating patients with their rights under Colorado’s recently passed End-of-Life Options Act.

The Colorado End-of-Life Options Act authorizes medical aid in dying and allows a terminally ill adult to end his or her life in a peaceful manner. The patient must meet several requirements, including:
• A prognosis of six months or less;
• Mental capacity to make an informed decision;
• Residency in Colorado; and
• Has requested and obtained a prescription for medical aid-in-dying medication.

Colorado law recognizes certain rights and responsibilities of qualified patients and health care providers under the End-of-Life Options. Under the Act, a health care provider, including Community Hospital, is not required to assist a qualified patient in ending that patient’s life.

Community Hospital has chosen not to participate under the Act. Community Hospital caregivers will still provide other requested end-of-life and palliative care and other services to patients and families.

Any patient wishing to request medical aid-in-dying medication while a patient at this hospital will be assisted in transfer to another facility of the patient’s choice.