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Health Care Agents - Appointing One and Being One

Glossary continued...

Do-Not-Intubate (DNI) order
A physician's written instructions to health care providers not to intubate (see "intubation" below) a patient who is experiencing breathing difficulties.

Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) order
A physician's written instructions to health care providers not to perform CPR if a person experiences cardiac or respiratory arrest.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
A group of governmental and private agencies that provide emergency care, usually to people outside of health care facilities; EMS personnel generally include paramedics, first responders and other ambulance crews.

Healthcare Agent
The person named in an advance directive or as permitted under state law to make health care decisions on behalf a person who is no longer able to make medical decisions.

Hospice Care
A program to deliver palliative care to individuals who are in the final states of a terminal illness. In addition to providing palliative care and personal support to the patient, hospice includes support for the patient's family while the patient is dying and grief support for up to one year after the patient's death.

Intubation
Refers to "endotracheal intubation" the insertion of a tube through the mouth or nose into the trachea (windpipe) to create and maintain an open airway to assist breathing.

Life-Sustaining Treatment
Treatments (medical procedures) that replace or support an essential bodily function (may also be called life support treatments). Life-sustaining treatments include CPR, mechanical ventilation, artificial nutrition and hydration, dialysis, and other treatments.

Living Will
A document that allows individuals to record instructions about their medical treatment in the event they become terminally or irreversibly ill and unable to communicate.

Medical Power of Attorney
A document that allows individuals to appoint a trusted friend or family member to make medical decisions on their behalf in the event they become unable to communicate.

Medical Power of Attorney
A document that allows individuals to appoint a trusted friend or family member to make medical decisions on their behalf in the event they become unable to communicate.

Non-hospital DNR Order
A physician's order that directs emergency medical providers and other health care workers not to attempt CPR for persons being cared for at home. Laws and regulations governing their use vary from state to state.

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