Advance Directives are documents that legally establish your desires regarding your medical treatment and end of life wishes. Alert and competent patients make their own healthcare decisions. If you are unable to make these decisions Advance Directives clarify your choices or specify who you want to make medical decisions for you.
Arizona recognizes four types of Advance Directives:
- A Living Will specifies your end of life wishes.
- A Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to identify the person(s) you wish to make medical decisions for you if you cannot.
- A Mental Health Care Power of Attorney states who you wish to make mental health care decisions for you in the event that you cannot make decisions.
- A Prehospital Medical Care Directive says whether you will or will not accept emergency medical services outside of the hospital (such as in your home, if 911 is called). A Prehospital Medical Care directive must be printed on orange paper, signed by your family doctor, include your picture, and be placed on your door or refrigerator.
The Arizona Attorney General supplies these document for free. The link to their website is listed below. Summit Healthcare keeps a copy of your Advance Directives in the Medical Records Office. Advance Directives do not cover financial decisions. The Social Services Department can provide assistance completing Advance Directives documents.