An "Advance Health Care Directive" lets your physician, family and friends know your health care preferences, including the types of special treatments you want at the end of life, your desire for diagnostic testing, surgical procedures, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and organ donation.
By considering your options early, you can ensure the quality of life that is important to you and avoid having your family "guess" your wishes or having to make critical medical care decisions for you under stress or in emotional turmoil.
Prepare your Advance Health Care Directive:
Under state law, you have a legal right to express your health care wishes and to have them considered in situations when you are unable to make these decisions yourself. Use this form to notify your loved ones of your wishes should you be unable to make your own medical decisions.
- HOW DOES THIS ROMAN CATHOLIC AHCD FORM DIFFER FROM OTHER AHCD's?:
The AHCD form on this website is an attempt to facilitate an ethically informed approach to health-care decision-making by explicitly incorporating key sanctity-of-life principles as taught by the Roman Catholic Church. It is suitable for any person who upholds sanctity-of-life principles.
- WHAT ARE THE "SANCTITY-OF-LIFE" PRINCIPLES?:
The AHCD Brochure above provides a summarized explanation of the Sanctity-of-life Principles. The most authoritative statement of the Catholic Church's teaching is the Declaration on Euthanasia, promulgated by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Also read U.S. Bishops' new statement on euthanasia: www.usccb.org/toliveeachday
- WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO EXECUTE AN AHCD?
It is best to execute an AHCD while healthy and of sound mind and able to discuss these matters thoroughly and calmly with your family and future agent(s). It is wise not to put it off until you reach old age or are in poor health. Serious accidents or sudden cata-strophic illnesses can happen at any age. Don’t wait until an emergency admission to a hospital, when anxiety, medical procedures,and perhaps the illness itself prevent due reflection and discussion with your future agent(s).