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Planning Ahead for Major Healthcare Decisions

Donating Blood

Patients who wish to donate blood for their own use prior to elective surgery may do so. The hospital laboratory is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks and works closely with the American Red Cross to store blood for emergency use. Your friends or relatives may also donate blood for your use. To arrange for blood donations, call 410.535.4000, ext 5744 or call 1.800.233.4640 from outside the hospital.

The hospital laboratory is fully licensed and accredited by Maryland and The Joint Commission, certified by the College of American Pathologists and licensed by the Clinical Laboratory Improvements Act. (CLIA).

Advance Directives

Advance directives protect your right to make medical choices that affect your life. An advance directive is a legal means of expressing your desires about healthcare decisions should you become unable to do so due to injury or illness.

Oral Directive

An oral discussion of your treatment decisions made in the presence of your physician and one witness to indicate your treatment preferences. This discussion is then written in your medical record to communicate your wishes to the healthcare team.

If you choose not to prepare an advance directive, Maryland law recognizes the authority of a surrogate decision maker when necessary. A guardian (if one has been appointed by a court), spouse, adult child or parents of the patient (in that order) can make treatment decisions for you without specific court authorization in the event that you cannot make such decisions for yourself.

As a service to the community, CalvertHealth Medical Center offers a computerized registry for living wills and other advance directives. The registry records and stores your advance directives so they can be easily accessed at any time in the future, even from another hospital.

Hospital personnel can provide assistance and further information about preparing advance directives and storing them in the registry. The hospital can provide you with a standard form for completing your advance directives. From inside the hospital,call extension 8235. From outside the hospital, call 410.535.8235 or 301.855.1012, ext. 8235.

Maryland Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST)

MOLST is a two-page order form about cardiopulmonary resuscitation and tells doctors and other people what treatments patients want or do not want. If you have a MOLST form, please tell us so we can make a copy and put it in on your record and honor your wishes. If you do not have a MOLST form, you may be asked to discuss it at some point during your hospitalization. It is required by the state if you are transferred to another facility. When you are at home, you should keep your copy in a place that is easy to find. You should always provide your MOLST form to ambulance crews and you should take it with you to hospitals or other healthcare organizations. You and your physician should revisit your MOLST form at least annually to make sure your wishes are the same. For more information you can visit marylandmolst.org.

Five Wishes

Five Wishes is the first living will that talks about your personal, emotional and spiritual needs as well as your medical wishes. It lets you choose the person you want to make health care decisions for you if you are not able to make them for yourself. Five Wishes lets you say exactly how you wish to be treated if you get seriously ill. It was written with the help of the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging and the nation's leading experts in end-of-life care. It's also easy to use.

The "Five Wishes" include the following directives:

  1. The Person I Want to Make Care Decisions for Me When I Can't
  2. The Kind of Medical Treatment I Want or Don't Want
  3. How Comfortable I Want to Be
  4. How I Want People to Treat Me
  5. What I Want My Loved Ones to Know

Hospice Care

Hospice care is available for terminally ill patients through Calvert Hospice at 410.535.0892.

Ethics Committee

The hospital's Ethics Committee can help patients and families with difficult decisions about health care. The committee can help you understand options for care and treatment and give you advice based on experience and the wishes of the patient. Counsel from your clergyman is welcome. To contact the committee during weekday work hours, call extension 8235 from inside the hospital or 410.535.8235 from outside the hospital. Evenings and weekends, ask your nurse to contact the hospital supervisor.

Organ Donation

Organ and tissue donations provide new hope to seriously ill or injured fellow human beings and their families. CalvertHealth Medical Center participates with The Living Legacy Foundation to manage organ and tissue donations.

At CalvertHealth Medical Center, we want to encourage community members to consider organ donation. If you would like more information on becoming an organ or tissue donor, please ask your nurse or physician.
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