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Probate Court - Lake County, Ohio

Advance Directives

What are Advance Directives?

"Advance directive" is a general term that refers to a person's verbal and written instructions about future medical care, in the event that the person becomes unable to speak for him or herself. Each state regulates the use of advance directives differently. There are several types of advance directives available in Ohio: the Living Will, Health Care Power of Attorney , Ohio's Do-Not-Resuscitate law, and Organ and Tissue Donation.

The Living Will

This is a type of advance directive in which a person puts in writing his or her wishes about life-sustaining treatments if he or she became permanently unconscious or terminally ill and unable to communicate. The person must be declared permanently unconscious or terminally ill and unable to communicate by two physicians before the Living Will becomes effective.

The Health Care Power of Attorney

This is a type of advance directive that allows a person to appoint someone (an attorney-in-fact) to make medical decisions for the person in the event that he or she is unable to do so. The Durable Power of Attorney-Health Care (DPOA-HC) differs from the Living Will because the attorney-in-fact appointed through a DPOA-HC is authorized to make medical decisions in any situation when the person is unable to communicate. It is not limited to the event of becoming permanently unconscious or terminally ill and unable to communicate.

Organ and Tissue Donation

Ohio law requires that Living Wills created after December 15, 2004, must include a person's preferences about Anatomical Gifts (Organ and Tissue Donation).

The Ohio's Do-Not-Resuscitate Law

Ohio's Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Law gives individuals the opportunity to exercise their right to limit care received in emergency situations in special circumstances. "Special circumstances" include care received from emergency personnel when 911 is dialed. The law authorizes a physician to write an order allowing health care personnel to know that a patient does not wish to be resuscitated in the event of a cardiac arrest (no palpable pulse) or respiratory arrest (no spontaneous respirations or the presence of labored breathing).

Declaration for Funeral Arrangements
(Disposition of Bodily Remains)

This is a declaration assigning right of disposition to representative which means an adult or a group of adults, collectively, to whom a declarant has assigned the right of disposition.

Declaration for Mental Health Treatment

In October 2003, a law permitting a Declaration for Mental Health Treatment became effective. This mental health declaration allows you to state your own preferences regarding your mental health treatment and to name a person to make mental health care decisions for you when you cannot make these important decisions for yourself. You can name any adult, except your mental health treatment provider, but it should be a person that you know and trust, because that person will need to agree to make decisions for you