What’s an advance directive?
An advance directive spells out your decisions about end-of-life care. It allows you to share your wishes for medical care with health care professionals and loved ones – in case you become too ill or injured to express them yourself.
Types of advance directives
At ProHealth, you can use the following advance care directives:
- Power of attorney for health care – Names who can make health care decisions for you when you cannot.
- Declaration to physicians (living will) – Gives instructions about the care you’d like to receive if you cannot communicate your wishes.
- Do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order – Lets care providers know that they should not perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if your breathing or heart stops; must be signed by your doctor.
To learn more about advance directives, watch the video above, view a Spanish version or register for an online class. "It's Time to Start Advance Care Planning" is held periodically throughout the year.
What does a health care agent do?
In your power of attorney for health care document, you’ll name your personal health care agent. Your agent makes health care decisions for you if you are not able to make decisions yourself. Your health care agent can:
- Choose or refuse life-support treatments, such as a breathing machine or feeding tube.
- Stop treatments if your health does not improve.
- Access and release your medical records.
- Request an autopsy and allow your organs to be donated.
Do I need an advance directive?
Advance care planning is recommended for everyone 18 years and older, regardless of health condition. After you complete your advance directive, give copies to your doctors and a loved one.
Who helps with advance care planning?
Rely on ProHealth’s experienced advance care planning facilitators, chaplains and social workers to help you think about end-of-life health care issues and complete advance directive forms.