Patient Self-Determination Act
The Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990 requires health care providers to inform you of your rights under state law to make decisions concerning your medical care. This includes your right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment and your right to write an advance directive.
What are Advance Directives?
Advance Directives are written instructions about how you want medical decisions made if you can no longer communicate your wishes. The two most common types of advance directives are a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Health Care Declaration/Living Will. Advance Directives allow you to plan ahead in the event you are injured and/or become very sick. The documents can state what medical treatments you would want, and enable you to appoint another person you trust to make decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself. Having conversations with your family and health care providers will provide a clear plan for how you want to be treated. This way, in the event of a crisis, there is a plan in advance that reflects and follows your goals and values.