End-of-Life Planning

The MedQuarter Regional Medical District is:

  • A distinct medical district nationally recognized for quality care
  • A collaboration of varied medical and faith institutions
  • A healing environment with a holistic approach - mind, body and spirit
  • Starting the conversation on end-of-life planning through The Speak Up Series Events

Find out how end-of-life planning can make a difference in your life.

Make Your Wishes Known

End-of-life isn’t an easy topic for anyone. However, having the conversation now gives you time to discuss your wishes for your future health and personal care. Talk with your trusted family members and friends about what you want – they can speak for you if you’re unable to speak for yourself. You may also seek legal advice, so you can be confident your legacy is protected.

One conversation can make all the difference.

  Speak Up Series on End-of-Life Planning

December 7 | Spiritual Perspectives

Ask questions and participate in conversations about how personal values affect end-of-life planning. A panel of Christian, Humanist, Jewish and Muslim leaders will lead the discussion.


End-of-Life Planning, Step by Step

  1. It’s about conversations. Speak up! Don’t wait. Talk to your family and friends about what you want if, someday, you can’t communicate for yourself. Then, talk to your physician about the medical impacts of your wishes and talk to your attorney about the legal decisions you need to make.
  2. It’s about decisions. Be clear. Don’t assume anything. Carefully consider all the possibilities. Do you want to be on life support? For how long? Do you want a feeding tube, or not? Do you want a do-not-resuscitate order? Don’t leave tough decisions to your loved ones. The more detailed you can make your living will, the less burden you place on your family later. Carefully choose one person as your medical power of attorney. This person should be very familiar with your wishes and willing to carry them out. Someone who is doubtful or uncomfortable about it isn’t the right person. It should only be one person with one alternate, not a group of people. Conversations and decisions make it more likely that your wishes will be followed and that your family will have peace of mind.
  3. It’s about how we care for one another. By coming together as a community and emphasizing these conversations and decisions, we can encourage more people to commit to guiding their end-of-life care.

Download a printable card to keep in your wallet -
Speak Up Series Printable Card

Advance Directives

An Advance Directive is a document stating your health care choices or naming someone to make choices for you if you become unable to do so. Iowa law provides two types of Advance Directives:

  1. The Declaration Relating to Use of Life Sustaining Procedures, known as a Living Will. Additional options include the Iowa Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (IPOST) and the Out-of-Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Orders (DNR).
    • Living Will - a written statement detailing a person’s desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent, especially an advance directive. [http://www.iowabar.org/?page=LivingWills]
    • Iowa Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (IPOST) - this document helps you communicate your preferences for key life-sustaining treatments including resuscitation, general scope of treatment, artificial nutrition and more. [ http://idph.iowa.gov/ipost]
  2. The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care which provides for someone you designate to make decisions for your medical care in the event that you are unable to do so. This is also called a health care agent, health care proxy or substitute decision maker. [http://www.iowabar.org/?page=PowersofAttorney]


Speak Up Series - In the News


Additional Resources


Local Assistance

Albert Einstein died after refusing surgery, saying: “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.”