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Health care directive

A health care directive makes sure your family knows what kind of medical care you want or don't want if you can't communicate.

This document gives you the chance to write out your wishes. Those wishes will be legally respected.

The health care directive goes into effect if:

  • you cannot communicate your wishes by speaking, in writing or through gestures
  • you are near death or in a coma
  • medical staff members are told of your written wishes.

Your health care team can give you more information about health care directives if you wish. Please bring a signed copy to put in your chart.


Source: Allina Patient Education, What You Need to Know About Surgery, surg-ahc-21686

First published: 01/15/2011
Last updated: 01/15/2011

Reviewed by: Allina Patient Education experts