YOUR RIGHT TO MAKE HEALTH CARE DECISIONS UNDER THE LAWS OF YOUR STATE.
Your state and federal laws give every competent adult the right to make their own health care decisions, including the right to decide what medical care or treatment to accept, reject or discontinue. If you do not want to receive certain types of treatment or you wish to name someone to make health care decisions for you, you have the right to make these desires known to your doctor, hospital or other health care providers, and in general, have these rights respected. You also have the right to be told about the nature of your illness in terms that you can understand, the general nature of the proposed treatments, the risks of failing to undergo these treatments and any alternative treatments or procedures that may be available to you.
However, there may be times when you cannot make your wishes known to your doctor or other health care provider. For example, if you were taken to a hospital in a coma, would you want the hospital's medical staff to know what your specific wishes are about the medical treatment that you want or do not want to receive.
Our booklets describe what your specific state and federal laws have to say about your right to inform your health care providers about medical care and treatment you want or do not want, and about your right to select another person to make these decisions for you, if you are physically or mentally unable to make them yourself.
Because this is an important matter, we urge you to talk to your spouse, family, close friends, personal advisor, your doctor and your attorney before deciding whether or not you want an advance directive.