Advance Health Care Directives

The Advance Health Care Directive is your written or oral instruction to caregivers regarding which specific medical treatments you do or do not want to be performed in situations where you are not able to speak for yourself - for example, if you are unconscious, in a coma, too ill to communicate your wishes - or when you have chosen someone you trust to make these decisions for you.

By law, you have the legal right to provide these instructions to caregivers or an agent that you choose while you are capable of doing so, not only at the end of life. If you choose an agent to make these decisions for you, that person's responsibility is to make sure your wishes are carried out.

Under federal law, the Patient Self-Determination Act requires health care facilities to inform patients of their rights to execute Advance Health Care Directives.

You can download the Advance Health Care Directive forms here. Once completed, you should provide a copy to your physician and your health plan.