John Maszinski
Office: 312-580-6440
Not Seriously Ill? This is the Time to Plan for When You Are
Not Seriously Ill? This is the Time to Plan for When You Are
ISMS releases new 2011-12 edition of resource to help patients express how they want to be treated if they become incapable of making medical decisions.

CHICAGO, IL - The Illinois State Medical Society is pleased to release the 2011-12 edition of our popular A Personal Decision publication. The guide provides patients with practical information and resources for documenting future medical care preferences. Included in the book are information and sample legal forms used to establish living wills, document power of attorney for health care, make mental health treatment preference declarations, establish do-not-resuscitate (DNR) orders and authorize organ donation.

"Many of us have strong views regarding our personal health care, yet some patients still do not legally express their intent. This leaves loved ones and caregivers without the direction to ensure treatment wishes are respected when we become seriously ill or incapacitated," said Wayne V. Polek, MD, ISMS President. "ISMS produces A Personal Decision, to provide patients with the tools they need to articulate future health care wishes in a respectful and legally sound way."

 A Personal Decision guides patients to ask and prepare for questions such as:

  • Who will make choices for me when I am physically or mentally incapacitated?
  • Who do I trust to make my health care choices? Is my designate aware of my treatment preferences?
  • Do I wish to be resuscitated if I stop breathing and/or my heart stops?¬†Under all circumstances?
  • Do I want to be hospitalized, stay at home, or stay elsewhere, if I become seriously or terminally ill?

A Personal Decision was revised this year to include information about recent statutory changes to Illinois' Power of Attorney for Health Care form. Last year ISMS distributed 89,000 print copies of A Personal Decision and the downloadable version is one of the most popular patient resources on the ISMS website.

How to obtain a copy:

A Personal Decision is available as a free download at (under the "for patients" tab). ISMS makes copies of the print brochure available to the general public at no cost (limit 2 per household). ISMS physician members may receive up to 300 free copies per year. Print copies can be obtained by calling 800-782-4767, or emailing

Hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities are required to disseminate information on advance directives to all new patients, and many of these facilities use A Personal Decision. ISMS makes special bulk orders of the brochure available to these organizations, with graduated pricing discounts based on quantity.

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