End of Life Care
Understanding trends and current end-of-life care options for patients is vital for the health care of our patients and advance care planning continues to be a hot topic in medicine. As our state continues to advance in end-of-life care planning, it is important for physicians to understand the resources available to South Carolinians. The following outlines the forms available to patients in South Carolina:
Health Care Power of Attorney
A durable power of attorney for health care is a document that names a health care agent/proxy/surrogate. The person named should be someone trusted to make health decisions for you if you are unable to do so. This form also allows one to make health care decisions about treatments intended to sustain life. A person can accept or refuse medical treatment addressing such issues as CPR, breathing machines, tube feeding, organ donation and comfort care. Decisions about these treatments are not required for the completion of this form.
- Health Care Power of Attorney Form in English
- Health Care Power of Attorney Form in Spanish
- SC Health Care Power of Attorney Legislation
South Carolina Living Will or “Declaration of a Desire for a Natural Death” under the SC Death with Dignity Act
A living will tells how a patient feels about treatment intended to sustain life should one be terminally ill or in a state of permanent unconsciousness. The treatment issues addressed in the living will are tube feeding, hydration and comfort care. Naming a health care agent/proxy/surrogate is an optional decision on this form.
South Carolina Adult Health Care Consent Act
If you do not have an advance directive, the SC Adult Health Care Consent Act lists the order of priority of persons who may make health care decisions for a patient who is unable to consent.
Isn't It Time We Talked?
The South Carolina Hospital Association joined with the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care, the South Carolina Medical Association, and the South Carolina Bar Association to develop two documents on advance care planning to help the public and health care professionals: “Isn’t It Time We Talk” brochure and Frequently Asked Questions about advance directives.