Making Health Care Decisions

Understanding the terminology and technology of health care can often be overwhelming, especially amidst a crisis or after years of dealing with a chronic illness, which can be physically and mentally exhausting. At HWC, we want our community to be knowledgeable and able to make good informed decisions. Therefore, we extend our professional support and expertise whenever possible, aiding individuals and families along the journey of having what can be sometimes difficult conversations.

We hope this information is helpful to you and realize that we may not have been able to answer all of your questions. Please do not hesitate to ask. It is an important issue, and it is your right.

For more information about Maryland Advance Directives

  • Maryland Attorney General’s Website
  • EMS DNR (Emergency Medical Services Do Not Resuscitate Form)
  • Advance Directive Workbook
  • Start the Conversation


    Research has shown us that Americans are clear about what they want when it comes to end of life care. They want to remain at home with control of their treatment options, effective pain and symptom management; along with supportive services that aide with personal, spiritual, and emotional care.

    So why don’t more Americans receive this type of care? Their choice(s) are unknown to those that are caring for them. In some instances, we are reluctant to think, much less talk about the care we would want at the end of life and that robs one of the chance to choose.

    In our culture, we don’t discuss death or dying. It is a topic that should have an emphasis in our lives, just as birth and life do. We can create a change if we simply begin the conversation with those closest to us. Letting them know what we would or would not want if we can no longer make decisions does not have to be a drawn out conversation. It may be one of the most important conversations you ever have and we can help you get started.

    If you would like help with getting started, please contact our Community Relations Department at 301-791-6360.

    We hope this information is helpful to you and realize that we may not have been able to answer all of your questions. Please do not hesitate to ask. It is an important issue, and it is your right.

    Make Health Care Decisions Under the Law


    There may be times when you cannot make your wishes known to your doctor or other health care providers. If you were taken to a hospital in a coma, you would want the hospital’s medical staff to know what your specific medical care wishes are.

    The questions that are listed below describes what the Maryland law has to say about your rights to inform your health care providers, and significant others, about the medical care and treatment you want, if you are physically or mentally unable to make decisions yourself.

    Because this is an important matter, we urge you to talk to your spouse, family, close friends, personal advisor(s), doctor, and attorney before deciding whether you want an Advance Directive.
    We hope this information is helpful to you and realize that we may not have been able to answer all of your questions. Please do not hesitate to ask. It is an important issue, and it is your right.