In Pennsylvania, adults generally have the right to decide if they want to accept, to reject or to discontinue medical care and treatment. In order to protect and safeguard this right, however, it may be necessary to execute advance directives which include a living will and a durable power of attorney for healthcare. These forms are included in the Five Wishes booklet. For example, under a criminal law known as Act 28 of 1995, caretakers such as owners, managers or employees of nursing homes and other health institutions have an affirmative duty to provide necessary medical care to individuals within their care. Caretakers are relieved of this duty only if they can demonstrate that the patient has competently refused the medical care or treatment, or the person, if incompetent, previously executed a living will or durable power of attorney for health care indicating that he or she does not wish to receive medical care or treatment in question.
Your doctor should provide you with all of the information which a person in your situation reasonably would want to know in order to make an informed decision about a proposed procedure or course of treatment. This means that your doctor should tell you about the risks and benefits of the medical procedure or course of treatment which he or she is recommending, possible side effects, and alternatives, if any, to the proposed procedure or course of treatment. You may accept or reject your doctor's advice and you may seek a second opinion.
Yes. The law requires your health care provider (hospital, nursing home, home health care service, hospice or HMO) to give you a written statement of its policies. For example, upon admission to a hospital, you must be informed as to whether the hospital will not honor your wish to have food and water withheld or withdrawn under certain circumstances.
There is no law in Pennsylvania which guarantees that a health care provider will follow your instructions in every circumstance. There are, however, steps you can take to express your wishes about future treatment. Have the conversation today with your family, loved ones and health care team. Then, be sure to complete the Five Wishes booklet.
By sharing your wishes with all family members, there is a greater likelihood that your family will support your choices for end-of-life care. If family members have questions, your physician can discuss your living will to determine the best treatment options based on your wishes. This is also why choosing a durable power of attorney (health care proxy) is so important. If there is a question that cannot be resolved, your health care team will consult with WellSpan’s legal department and/or the courts to determine the appropriate course of action.
This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.×
Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.
If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.
If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.×