Someday almost all of us will have a serious illness. And 80 percent of persons with serious illness at some point lose the ability to communicate and make their treatment preferences known. For families who must make tough medical decisions for their loved ones without the guidance of a living will, these can be some of the most difficult burdens they have ever had to bear.
And what about the patient? We know from the evidence that patients who have a serious illness experience less pain and other suffering, receive treatment more consistent with their personal values and experience lower costs of care when they have documented their treatment preferences in a living will.
A living will helps you tell others how you wish to be treated if in the future you are so sick that you can no longer communicate.
So help your family and help yourself by thinking about your advance care plan and then documenting your desires with a living will or other advance directive today!
Free resources are available to help you make a living will or other advance directive.
Baylor Scott & White Health provides information on issues associated with serious illness as well as the Texas Living Will and other advance care planning documents. You can find and download these documents below.
If you prefer an online approach, go to MyDirectives.com.
Here you will find an online advance care planning tool allowing you to create a universal digital advance directive. Once you create your living will with this service, you may digitally sign it, have it witnessed, store it online and share it with your care providers via electronic means.
Thank you for choosing a Baylor Scott & White facility for your healthcare needs. Our goal while you are a patient in our hospital is to help you have the best possible experience from your stay here. This requires everyone—you, your family and your healthcare team—to all work together and communicate clearly. So Baylor Scott & White has prepared
A Guide to Your Care to help you work with your healthcare team to achieve the best possible outcome. These guides also help you understand what your rights and responsibilities are while you or a family member is a patient at Baylor Scott & White and provide you with important contact information.
Although we try to always communicate clearly, we know that hospitals can be confusing places, especially in the setting of a serious illness. We hope you will always take any questions or concerns you might have first to your physicians, nurses and other members of the treatment team. The information contained on this Web site provides access to additional useful information, especially if you or your loved one is facing a serious illness.
If a serious illness is present, it will be helpful to read our
Information about Serious Illness handout. This information cannot replace direct conversations with your healthcare team, but it may further guide you and your family through this difficult time. It is every doctor's and nurse's goal to first help their patient recover and get well and to always relieve suffering as much as possible. Sometimes though, our hopes for recovery are not realized. Because none of us can live forever, it is wise to plan for a time in the future when we may be so ill that we cannot communicate or make our wishes known and we cannot recover.