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 Health's Patient Education Department, Surgery: What You Need to Know, surg-ah-21686
First Published: 01/15/2011
Last Reviewed: 06/15/2015