What Is an Advance Directive?

An advance directive is a legal document that allows you to share your wishes with your health care team if you can’t speak for yourself.  An Oregon advance directive allows you to:

  1. Identify the person you want the health care team to work with in making decisions about your medical care; and
  2. Generally say what kinds of medical treatment you would or would not want.

If no one can QUICKLY find your advance directive, it may not be worth the paper it is written on. Once doctor’s apply life-saving treatment like life support or tube feeding, it is much harder to remove those things. Doctors need to make quick decisions and if they don’t know for sure that you do not want to be on life support, they will act to preserve life. Make sure you communicate your wishes and provide copies of your advance directive to your health care professionals.

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