Advance Directives

Here are some messages physicians can share with patients about health care directives:

  • A person’s right to control his or her health care decisions does not end if they become incapable. There are times when health care decisions may need to be made when an individual is no longer able to decide or communicate his or her preferences. Adults of all ages are at risk as a result of an injury or illness.
  • Putting your wishes in writing is the best way to help make sure your wishes will be known and followed by family, friends, health care providers, and others.
  • A Health Care Directive is a tool which allows you to:
    • Appoint another person (called an agent) to make health care decisions for you if you become unable to make or communicate decisions for yourself (Part I), or
    • Leave written instructions so that others can make decisions based on your wishes and preferences (Part II), or
    • Do both -- appoint a health care agent and leave instructions.

Patients are encouraged, but not required, to complete both Part I and Part II of the Health Care Directive form.

Minnesota Health Care Directive Form
Honoring Choices Minnesota Health Care Directives

Related materials

AMA End-of-Life Care