An Advance Directive is a legal document that allows you to communicate your wishes and preferences for health care if you are too sick to speak for yourself.
It helps loved ones and doctors know what kind of treatment you would want. You do not need to see a lawyer to complete this form and it can be changed and updated at any time.
Advance Directives do not replace thoughtful, thorough and compassionate medical care during times of serious illness. In fact, they support good care by letting your health care team know about your wishes.
Advance Directives commonly have two parts:
- A "medical power of attorney" or "health care agent" form that names a person who will make health care decisions for you if you cannot speak for yourself.
This person is someone with whom you have discussed your wishes as expressed in your living will and who would honor them.
- A "living will" agreement which allows you to put into writing your choices for the medical care you would or would not want in certain situations.
This helps your family and doctors make decisions about the use of medical treatments when you cannot make those decisions yourself.
If you are asked whether you have an Advance Directive, it is not cause for alarm. We are legally required to ask this question and it is unrelated to your present condition.
You should discuss your Advance Directives with your doctor and give copies to your health care agent, doctor and hospital of choice.
If you would like more information about Advance Directives, our staff can tell you more about them and provide the appropriate forms.
» You can also download forms and information here.