How can I be sure my doctor knows my wishes?
As long as you can think for yourself you and your doctor can talk about your care and the treatments you would or would not like. You should also talk with your family and loved ones about your wishes. You can also write down your wishes on legal forms.
Legal forms for making advance directives
(you may download, print the forms, and complete them. Be sure that the completed documents are signed, witnessed and notarized.) These documents are provided as downloadable PDFs. Download Acrobat Reader.
- Health Care Power of Attorney
A form on which you can name someone else to help make medical choices if you are not able to do so. This could be a husband or wife, an adult child or a close friend or family member. You can also use this document to state what kind of medical or mental health treatments you do or do not want.
- Living Will (Declaration of a Desire for a Natural Death)
A form on which you can specify the kind of care you want or do not want if you were near death or were in a coma. This can include heroic measures such as a respirator (a machine that helps you breathe) or other types of care such as artificial nutrition or hydration (food and water through a tube)
- Advance Instruction for Mental Health
A form with instruction for mental health treatment that you would or would not want if you cannot make decisions for yourself.