Respecting Choices at Beaumont - FAQs and Glossary

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Advance directive: A written document that tells what a person wants or does not want if, in the future, he/she can’t make his/her wishes known.

Artificial Nutrition and Hydration: When food and fluids are given through the vein (I.V.) or directly into the stomach by a feeding tube.

Breathing machine/Ventilator: A tube placed down your throat or through your neck so that a respirator (ventilator) machine breathes for you.

Coma: A state of unconsciousness from which the person cannot be awakened (this may be temporary, or may be permanent).

CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation): Treatment to try to restart a person’s heartbeat and breathing which involves compressions to the chest, giving drugs through a vein, electrical shocks to the heart and artificial breathing through a tube

Electroconvulsive therapy/ECT: Electric “shock” treatments to the brain used to treat some mental illnesses

Kidney machine/Hemodialysis: A machine that does the work of the kidneys when they have stopped working. Blood is removed from the body, run through the machine, then returned to the body over several hours, several times a week

Life –sustaining Treatment: Any medical treatment used to keep a person from dying. A breathing machine, CPR, and artificial nutrition and hydration are examples of life-sustaining treatments

Organ and Tissue Donation: When a person permits his/her organs to be removed after death to be transplanted for use by another person

Pain Control: Medications used to decrease and manage pain. Side effects can make a person sleepy, and/or decrease blood pressure, heart rate or breathing

Psychotropic Medication: Medicines that affect mood, thinking, or behavior used to treat mental illnesses

Terminal Condition: A condition caused by injury or illness that has no cure and death is inevitable

Transfusions: Blood or blood products given through a vein

Whole body donation: After death, donation of a person’s whole body may be donated to a medical school to be used for education and research

Frequently Asked Questions