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Patient and Family Support Services

Our staff is available to help patients who need protective services, such as guardianship, advocacy, conservatorship and child or adult protective services.

Ethical Issues

You or your representative have the right and are encouraged to participate in ethical considerations that may arise about your care.

Advance Directives

We appreciate that discussions about “Do Not Resuscitate” orders, tube feeding decisions and organ donation can be painful and emotionally difficult, but we urge you to discuss these important issues with your family so that your health care preferences can be known. We appreciate the serious nature of these decisions and want our patients and their families to know that Saint Joseph’s Medical Center will make every effort to help you. If you already have a health care proxy or living will, please bring a copy with you. (You may click here for a free health care proxy form.)

Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Orders

Adults in New York State have the right to accept or refuse medical treatment, including life-sustaining treatment. Saint Joseph’s Medical Center and its staff are required by law to provide every medical treatment possible unless otherwise indicated by a valid DNR order or health care proxy.

New York State Proxy Law

Under New York State law, you are allowed to appoint someone you trust to make decisions about your care and treatment should you lose the capacity to make these decisions for yourself. You can do this by filling out the Health Care Proxy form to appoint your “health care agent.” You may give the person you select as little or as much authority as you want. A Health Care Proxy form is included in your hospital information packet or you may ask your nurse for a copy, (Click here for a free copy of a health care proxy form.)

Organ Donation

When a patient dies in the hospital, health care providers are required by law to request that family members consider organ donation. In New York State, people may complete organ donor cards or indicate their wishes regarding organ donation on a Health Care Proxy or their driver’s licenses. You may obtain an organ donor card from the hospital. Please carry your completed card with you.

Tips and Gratuities

Saint Joseph’s employees may not accept tips or gratuities. If you wish to make a gift to the Medical Center in tribute to a staff member–or even a unit or department–who renders exceptional service during your stay, please call the Department of Public Relations and Development at ext. 7534. The employee and his or her department head will be notified of your gift.