St. Mary Medical Center to Host An Advance Directives for Healthcare Workshop

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st-marys-medical-centerSt. Mary Medical Center Long Beach will host Five Wishes – An Advance Directives for Healthcare Workshop on Thursday, March 14 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at its Health Enhancement Center on campus at 1050 Linden Avenue. This important and informative workshop will be presented by Vitas Hospice. Reservations can be made by calling St. Mary Medical Center at 1-888-4STMARY or 888-478-6279.

“A Pew study says more Americans understand what advance directives are, but only about 29 percent actually have living wills. Therefore, this workshop is a great opportunity to get this taken care of,” said Kit G. Katz, St. Mary Medical Center Senior Services Manager.

Participants will learn about the similarity between the living will and a medical power of attorney. They will also be shown how the five wishes form incorporates both the living will and medical power of attorney in a concise document. Instruction on how to complete the 5 wishes form will also be given. A complimentary form will be provided to each participant.

“This Five Wishes document gives you a way to make your wishes known should you be unable to speak for yourself,” said Marlene Kurowski, Vitas Hospice representative. “The form allows you to differentiate what medical care you would approve of, which is really a compassionate step you can take to assure that your family members have some guidance,” added Kurowski. Once the form is filled out and properly signed, it is valid under California law.

Advance directives are legal documents that protect your right to accept or refuse medical care if you should ever become incapacitated or unable to communicate your wishes due to injury or illness. Advance directives enable patients to make their feelings known in writing about complex issues such as:

  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation for patients at the end of life;
  • Intravenous therapy for patients who can no longer eat or drink;
  • Do not resuscitate orders;
  • Feeding tubes and respirators;
  • Decision on whether treatments should be used or discontinued if terminally ill, in a coma, or with permanent brain damage.

About St. Mary Medical Center

Founded by the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word in 1923, St. Mary Medical Center, a member of Dignity Health, offers a full continuum of primary and secondary acute care services to the Greater Long Beach community. With more than 600 physicians, 1,440 employees and 389 private rooms, St. Mary is committed to providing a unique balance of leading edge technology, while ensuring dignity and compassionate care of body, mind and spirit to the community it serves. For more information, please visit us at

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