Consider This

It's not just for older people. It is important for young people too, as they could be kept alive for decades in a condition they would not want.

Advance Health Care Directives aren't synonymous with "don't treat." Some people choose only to have their pain controlled when death is near, others want all possible treatments. It is your opportunity to let your family and physician know of your wishes.

You do not give up control of your health care decisions. Only when you are unable to communicate will the Advance Health Care Directive be followed.

You do not need a lawyer to make an Advance Health Care Directive.

You do not need a specific form. You can write your wishes down yourself. It has to include your signature and date, the signatures of two qualified witnesses. If you reside in a skilled nursing facility, the signature of the patient advocate or ombudsman is required.

It does not have to be notarized. Witnessed by two people is sufficient.

Your wishes do not have to be in writing, but it is very helpful if they are.

You do not have to have a surrogate decision-maker, but it is recommended. A surrogate decision-maker is someone you have chosen to make decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself.

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