Advanced Directives

This important legal document is designed to help you communicate your wishes about medical treatment at some time in the future when you are unable to make your wishes known because of illness or injury.

These wishes are usually based on personal values. In particular, you may want to consider what burdens or hardships of treatment you would be willing to accept for a particular amount of benefit obtained if you were seriously ill.

You are encouraged to discuss your values and wishes with your family or chosen spokesperson, as well as your physician. Your physician, other health care provider, or medical institution may provide you with various resources to assist you in completing your advance directive. Brief definitions are listed below and may aid you in your discussions and advance planning. Select the treatment choices that best reflect your personal preferences and provide a copy of your directive to your physician, usual hospital, and family or spokesperson. Consider a periodic review of the document. By periodic review, you can best assure that the directive reflects your current preferences.