Quality Health

Family Medical Care

Advance Directive Guide

An advance directive is a document that explains what type of care you would want to receive in the event you are not able to make a medical decision.
Who needs an Advance Directive?
Advance Directives Are Not Just for the Elderly
There are situations when even young, otherwise healthy people might be prevented from making a medical decision. For example, you could be injured in an accident and arrive at the hospital unconscious, or you might be under general anesthesia for routine surgery when something unexpected happens, or you might suffer an illness that leaves you unable to speak, or comatose. In New York State, friends and family members (including spouses) are not able to make decisions about your medical care unless you appoint them in writing.
The following are the most common types of Advance Directives:
  • Living will- a legal document that describes the type of medical treatments an individual would like to receive if they are, or become, terminally ill. An example of a NYS living Will can be found here.
  • DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order- a document that prevents healthcare professionals from performing any cardiopulmonary resuscitation to revive an individual if they stop breathing or their heart stops beating. A DNR can be found here
  • DPA (Durable power of attorney) or Health Care Proxy- a document that gives another individual the right to make medical decisions on a patient’s behalf, if the patient is unable to make medical decisions for him or herself (for example, because they are unconscious). A Healthcare Proxy only takes effect after two physicians declare a patient unable to make their own decisions. The standard NYS Healthcare Proxy Form can be found here
Please be sure to bring in copies of all advance directives to Quality Health as soon as possible so we have this information on file and can comply with your wishes.