Make your wishes regarding your care known.
An advance directive allows you to provide direction about your care even if you cannot speak for yourself at the time. It also allows you to state your wishes regarding the withholding of life-sustaining treatment and pain control, and allows you to appoint someone of your choice to direct this care, if you wish. All information is helpful to your doctor, the nursing professionals caring for you and the family or friends who may be called upon if and when you cannot speak for yourself.
By considering your options early, you can ensure the quality of life that is important to you and avoid having your family "guess" your wishes or having to make critical medical care decisions for you under stress or in emotional turmoil.
If you already have an advance directive, bring a copy with you to the hospital and give it to the nurse during your hospital admission. It will be placed in your medical record.
If you do not have an Advance Health Care Directive, a copy can be downloaded here. Instructions and a Spanish version are included. Please ask for assistance if you have questions about the form.