HAP Resource Center

Brochure: Decide for Yourself: A Guide to Advance Health Care Directives


There may be times in your life when you cannot make your own health care choices. An advance health care directive helps you plan for your care in these situations. By stating your wishes in advance, you can have a voice in your care when you cannot speak for yourself. You also can choose who may speak for you.

Your advance health care directive can help comfort your family and friends when you have a serious medical problem. By sharing your treatment wishes in a written document, you spare them from having to make tough decisions without knowing what you would want.

Making an advance health care directive is important for all of us—not just for people who know that they will be facing end-of-life decisions in the near future. Anyone may lose their ability to make health care choices without warning due to an unexpected illness or accident.

This guide gives general information about advance health care directives. It does not replace medical or legal advice from a professional. You should talk with your doctor about your advance health care directive. Consult your attorney if you want legal advice.


Topics: End of Life Care, Population Health

Revision Date: 9/1/2019

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