Advanced Directives

Every patient is asked to participate in a discussion affecting their care. By Federal law, the Advance Directive is available to every patient and should be a part of your medical record. As a competent adult, you have the right to accept or refuse any medical treatment. “Competent” means you understand your condition and the results your decisions may have. As long as you are competent, you are the only person who can decide what medical treatment you want to receive. Your doctors will give you information and advice about the pros and cons of different kinds of treatment, but only you can choose whether to say “yes” or “no.” You can say “no” even if the treatment you refuse might keep you alive longer and even if your doctor or your family wants you to have it.

What is an Advance Directive?

Advance Directives are documents signed by a competent person giving direction to health care providers about treatment choices in certain circumstances. The document is called an Advance Directive because you are directing and documenting your wishes about future care. There are two types of Advance Directives: A durable power of attorney for health care allows you to name a “patient advocate” to act for you and carry out your wishes when you are unable to express your wishes; and a living will that allows you to state your wishes in writing regarding future care, but does not name a patient advocate.

What should I do if I want an Advance Directive?

Ask a member of the hospital staff to assist you. They will provide you information necessary to execute an Advance Directive. Legal advice is not required, but if you wish, your attorney can also help you prepare a document. The law does not allow hospital personnel to witness these documents, so you will need to make other arrangements to complete the requirement. When you are admitted to the hospital, you will be asked about advance directives and at your request a brochure regarding advance directives may be obtained from an admitting representative, also known as living wills or durable powers of attorney. If you have any questions concerning this matter, or would like assistance in obtaining such a document, please ask your nurse.

If you already have an Advance Directive, please bring it with you to the hospital. If you need additional information about Advance Directives, please ask any member of the hospital staff.


If you require anesthesia, your doctor and anesthesiologist will talk with you and review your medical history. They will help you understand and choose from the variety of anesthetic options available to you. If you have any questions or special needs, please feel free to ask your doctor or nurse to clarify them for you before the day of your procedure.

For questions, call us today at +1-480-832-4770.