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Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to explain and share your wishes for medical treatment to your family, health care professionals and other key people in your life. Completing these forms helps reduce uncertainty and emotional burdens your family might feel if they do not know your wishes. Advance directives do not affect your access to care, treatment or services.
There are three types of legal documents included in advance directives:
- Directive to Physicians (Living Will)
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Out-of-Hospital Do-Not- Resuscitate Order
Watch the following video to learn more about the importance of advance directives.
Directive to Physicians (Living Will)
A Directive to Physicians, or Living Will, shares your medical choices for the future in case you are not able to make them known. This document goes into effect when you cannot make or share your decisions, and are in a terminal or irreversible state as decided by your doctor.
Share your values and wishes with your family or agent and your doctor. Place your initials on the choices that best reflect your personal wishes. Give a copy to your doctor, hospital, and family or agent. Review this document every year to make sure your choices are up to date.
You may also wish to complete a directive related to the donation of organs and tissues.
Download the PDF forms below:
- Directive to Physicians, Family or Surrogates
- Disposiciones Para Los Médicos y Familiares o Substitutos (En español)
Medical Power of Attorney
The Medical Power of Attorney is a legal document that names someone you trust to act as your agent if you are not able to speak for yourself. This is used when your doctor decides you cannot make your own treatment decisions. It is not limited to times when you are in a terminal or irreversible state.
Your agent has the authority to make most health care decisions for you. Respecting your wishes, your agent can agree, disagree, and withdraw agreement to medical treatment decisions. This includes refusing and removing life-sustaining treatment (e.g., breathing machine). There are a few limits to your agent’s authority. Your agent cannot agree to the following treatments: voluntary inpatient mental health services, convulsive treatment, psychosurgery, or ending a pregnancy.
In the document, you may also choose up to two other agents to make medical decisions for you in case your primary agent is unable and/or unwilling to.
Download the PDF forms below:
Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate Order
An Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate Order directs health care members to avoid performing resuscitative actions (e.g., compressions on your chest) if your heart stops and you are outside of the hospital. This document takes effect only when you are outside of the hospital.
If you would like more information regarding the Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate order, please ask your doctor.