Advance Directives


Each time you visit a doctor, you are making a decision about your health. It is important to remember, however, if you should, for one reason or another, not be able to make decisions about your own health, whether it is because of an injury or illness, someone else will be making those care decisions for you, unless you have an Advance Directive in place.


The Indiana State Department of Health states that an "Advance directive" is a term that refers to your spoken and written instructions about your future medical care and treatment. By stating your healthcare choices in an advance directive, you help your family and physician understand your wishes about your medical care. Indiana law pays special attention to advance directives. 

Advance directives may be one or more documents that ask you to name someone to make health choices for you if you become incapacitated. You may also request that certain measures not be taken on your behalf. 

An advanced directive does not take away your right to make decisions about your current healthcare. As long as you can express your own decisions, your advance directives will not be used. The advance directive is only to be used when you are unable to communicate or when your physician decides that you no longer have the mental competence to make your own choices.