Texas and federal law gives every competent adult, 18 years or older, the right to make healthcare decisions, including the right to decide what medical care, treatment to accept, reject, or discontinue. If you do not want to receive certain types of treatment or you wish to name someone to make healthcare decisions for you, you have a right to make these desires known to your physician, hospital, or other healthcare providers and to have these rights respected. You also have the right to be told about the nature of your illness in terms that you can understand; the general nature of proposed treatments and the risks of failing to undergo treatments; and any alternative treatments or procedures available to you.
The hospital acknowledges the psychosocial and spiritual concerns of the patient and the family regarding dying and the expression of grief by the patient and the family. Care is provided to all patients with or without advance directives.
Upon your arrival at Harlingen Medical Center, you will be told about advance directives and given written information about them. Please do not hesitate to contact your nurse, your physician or an attorney for more information about advance directives.
If you have an advance directive, please provide us with a copy as soon as possible upon your admission to the hospital.
You may be asked to sign consent forms for certain types of treatment, tests or procedures. Tell your physician or nurse if you do not understand the procedure or test for which you are asked to consent and your doctor will be notified. It is important for you to understand the risks, benefits and alternatives available to you.
Living Will / Medical Power of Attorney / Mental Health Care Power of Attorney
A Living Will is a written declaration by a competent person over 18 years of age, directing the medical care of the person when he or she is unable to state his or her wishes. It may include the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining procedures when a terminal condition exists. A Medical Power of Attorney gives another person the power to make medical decisions on someone’s behalf if and when the individual becomes disabled or incapacitated. A Mental Health Care Power of Attorney gives another person the power of making mental health care decisions on someone’s behalf when the individual is incapable.
Feelings of anxiety and uncertainty often times affect both you and your family when you are hospitalized. Sometimes you or your family may have a concern or conflict with your planned course of treatment. You may also be worried about the extent of treatment for irreversible or terminal conditions. You may ask to meet with your physicians, your nurse or hospital chaplain. If your concerns are not resolved after meeting with these individuals, you or your family may ask our staff or your physician for an Ethics Committee review. Your nurse or the Charge Nurse can assists with making this request.
Organ, Tissue and Eye Donations
Donation of organs and tissues is a gift of life and health for many people with serious or life threatening diseases. Harlingen Medical Center works with the Texas Organ Sharing Alliance (TOSA). We will ensure that all patients and family members of patients who meet the established criteria are provided the opportunity to discuss organ, tissue and eye donation with TOSA. Contact your nurse if your wish to talk with a representative about becoming a donor.