If I request medical or surgical care without the use of blood transfusions will my wishes be honored?
Allegheny General Hospital has a long-standing reputation as a center of excellence for treating patients who, for religious or other reasons, request care without the use of blood transfusions. During your stay you may request that a hospital representative review the AGH/West Penn Allegheny Health System-specific advance medical directive for bloodless medicine with you, and assist you in clearly documenting your wishes.
Yes. Every adult* should give serious thought to having and maintaining this important document. Establishing advance directives regarding future health care decisions can ensure that your wishes are met and can also relieve your family members of the stress of having to make difficult decisions for you.
Always carry a copy of your personal DPA/Advance Directive with you, and make sure that your "attorney in fact" also has a copy. This is especially important if you are not able to make your wishes known when you enter a hospital.
Your Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare is about more than whether or not you will accept a blood transfusion.
Individuals who are Jehovah's Witnesses can obtain a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare form from their local congregation. Pennsylvania residents can find more information about DPA’s and Living Wills, and a sample Advance Directive, on the Pennsylvania Department of Health website.
*Pennsylvania code, Act 169, stipulates that in order to execute a health-care power of attorney an individual must be at least 18 years of age, or be married, or a high school graduate, or an emancipated minor.
Patients who are willing to accept a blood transfusion only if physicians deem it necessary to preserve their life or health should NOT enroll in the AGH Center for Bloodless Medicine program. They should instead inform their doctors of their wishes and talk over any concerns they may have about accepting blood or blood products.