Care Directive (AHCD)
An Advanced Health Care Directive, or AHCD, allows you to determine the medical care you may receive if you are no longer able to make such decisions for yourself. Your designated agent will follow your direction (if known) regarding your medical care should you be incapable of providing informed consent.
With a AHCD, you will be able to decide whether or not you want extraordinary life-saving measures taken in the event of sudden injury or illness (usually involving ‘do-not-intubate’ or ‘do-not-resuscitate’ orders), and any preferences, religious or otherwise, regarding your treatment, as well as direction regarding whether or not your bodily tissue and organs are to be donated, and how you want your body treated in the event of your death.
An AHCD should also include determining who will have the power of attorney over your health care, which is the person named as being able to make medical decisions on your behalf if you cannot make them for yourself. Your health care agent should be someone you trust to act in your best interests and in accordance with your wishes, since you will not be able to assert them yourself.
While your AHCD and any associated decisions must be in writing, you can revoke them at any time, or make any desired changes to your directives, so long as the changes are likewise made in writing and your health care agent and any health care providers are informed.