Why plan ahead when it comes to health care decisions?
Minnesota's Health Care Directive, or more commonly known as living wills and a durable power of attorney for health care —is an important document for planning when it comes to your health.
Why plan? Adults have the right to control their own medical care by consenting to or refusing medical treatment. Patients have the right to understand health problems, care options, and effects of accepting or rejecting treatments. Sometimes decisions must be made when a person isn't able to decide or communicate preferences. For instance, anyone is at risk of injury or illness. Putting your wishes in writing helps make sure they'll be known and followed by family, friends, health care providers, and others.
Completing the Directive Form
First you need to get a copy of Minnesota Health Care Directive form to fill out.
- On Part I, you can appoint a person, called an agent, to make health decisions for you if you become unable to make or communicate decisions.
- On Part II, you can leave written instructions that include your health care goals, fears and concerns. You will include what you want as well as what you don't want. You can also state limits of the powers you want your agent to have.
- To make it legal, sign and date it. Then have the document witnessed by a notary public or two people, none of whom can be the agent.
- Next, make sure you share a copy of your directive with your agent and health care providers.