Advance Healthcare Directive
It’s a basic step every adult should take to plan for the future. Whether you are young or old, healthy or not, it is important to be able to clearly state your healthcare goals, values and preferences by completing an Advance Healthcare Directive.
An Advance Healthcare Directive allows you to share with your physicians, nurses and others taking care of you, including family and friends, what is most important to you when thinking about your health, healthcare and illness. The process of completing an Advance Healthcare Directive is also important because it can help you talk with loved ones about these things.
Your completed directive will not only give you greater peace of mind, but it can provide comfort and guidance to the people in your life who may, at some point, be asked to speak on your behalf.
Take the Next Step
To learn more about creating an advance healthcare directive, explore these resources:
- Advance Healthcare Directive: General Overview of Steps (PDF)
- Advance Healthcare Directive Frequently Asked Questions
- Advance Care Planning Classes (PDF)
- Advance Care Planning Group Statement
When you are ready to complete an Advance Healthcare Directive, use the following PDFs:
For Religious Traditions
To ensure your wishes are honored in harmony with your faith, we’ve curated advance healthcare directive forms that respect different religious traditions.
- Catholic: Advance Healthcare Directive (PDF)
- Interfaith: Five Wishes Advance Healthcare Directive
- Jehovah's Witness: Advance Healthcare Directive (PDF)
- Jewish: Halachic Living Will of Agudas Yisroel (Orthodox) (PDF)
- Jewish: Halachic Healthcare Proxy of the Rabbinical Council of America (Orthodox) (PDF)
- Jewish: Medical Directives for Healthcare of the Conservative Movement (PDF)
The Evolving Conversation
It's difficult to anticipate every possible scenario when you complete an advance directive, so it's crucial to have conversations with your loved ones, healthcare agent and physician about your treatment preferences and the reasons behind the choices you put in writing. This will help them to honor your goals, values and preferences and to ease the emotional burden they’d face if they must make difficult healthcare decisions for you.