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Advance Directives

You have the right to make decisions about your medical treatment. These decisions become difficult if you're unable to tell your doctor and loved ones the treatments you want. It's important to make your wishes known in advance.

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Types of Advance Directives

Information and forms for setting up living wills, health care surrogates, power of attorney, DNR and DNI orders and organ donations.

Completing your Advance Directives

To complete your advance directive, follow these recommended steps carefully.


Tools and guides for having conversations about advance directives with your family and loved ones.

Common Questions

Answers to the most common questions people have completing an Advance Directives.

What is an advance directive?

An advance directive lets you indicate who you would want to make decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. It also lets you say exactly how you wish to be treated if you become seriously ill and cannot speak for yourself.

Completing an advance directive helps guide conversations with your family, friends and physicians about how you want to be treated if you become seriously ill. In addition, your family members will not have to guess what you would want, because an advance directive makes your wishes clear when you cannot speak for yourself. Everyone age 18 or older is encouraged to prepare an advance directive. You do not need a lawyer to prepare an advance directive.

Your personal wishes

It is important to communicate your wishes to loved ones prior to a significant medical event or end of life care. Sharing your thoughts and concerns about end of life with your health care surrogate or loved ones allows them to understand your personal choices. Examples of things you may want to think about:

  • Life-support treatment that you may/may not want such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), major surgery, blood transfusions, dialysis, antibiotics
  • Your preferences for medication if you are in pain — it may affect your ability to interact with your loved ones
  • The importance of personal care like massage, nail clipping, shaving, as long as they do not cause pain or discomfort
  • Specific religious or personal beliefs/practices that you want honored
  • Where and how you might want to spend your final days — home/ hospital/nursing home

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