Download and Complete an Advance Directive Form
advance directive is a document
that tells family members and health care providers what kind of medical care you would want if you are too sick or injured to make those decisions yourself. All adults are encouraged to fill out this form.
You do not need a lawyer to fill out this form, but you do need to sign the form when you are finished.
1. Think. Think about what kind of medical care you want if something should happen and you cannot speak for yourself. What is important to you when it comes to quality of life versus quantity of life? What treatments or machines do you want or not want to make you live longer, even if you won't get better? This list can include a machine that helps you breathe or getting fluids and foods through an IV. Think about all possibilities.
Think about what would happen if you cannot speak for yourself. Do you have someone in mind that you want to make decisions for you? A trusted family member or friend? Would this person make decisions based on what you want and what is best for you?
2. Prepare. Gather any information needed. Talk to your doctor or health care provider to learn more about the different procedures and treatments available in a worst-case scenario. Take notes on anything you think of or want to do.
3. Talk and Talk Some More. Have a planned conversation with your family members and loved ones to discuss your wishes and decisions. Talk about everything. This should include who you want to speak for you when you cannot; how much decision making this person should have; when this person should step in; and what treatments/procedures you do or don’t want.
4. Write it Down. Put all your decisions and wishes in writing. Use an advance directive form, which can include a place to write down: the name of your decision maker; your treatment preferences; guardianship; and an effective date and place for signatures.
For more information about advanced care planning, ask your health care team or