Radiation Oncology Advance Directives
What is a health care Advance Directive?
It can be hard for doctors and loved ones to know what kind of treatment you would want when you are too sick to tell them. A special document, called an "Advance Directive" communicates your wishes and preferences for care when you are too sick to speak or make decisions for yourself.
The best way to make sure your wishes are respected is to discuss them with your health care providers and your loved ones while you're healthy and then fill out an Advance Directive form. Once completed, copies should be given to your health care provider and to those closest to you, so they can help carry out your wishes, if necessary.
What can an Advance Directive form help me do?
- Advance Directive forms allow you to:
- Express your wishes regarding particular kinds of medical treatments that you may be offered when seriously ill.
- Name a person whom you want to make health care decisions for you when you are unable to do so. This person is called a health care surrogate or a durable power of attorney for health care. If necessary, he or she makes health care decisions that you would make for yourself if you were able to do so.
- Do a combination of the above.
Even if you do not fill out or do not wish to complete an Advance Directive form, you should speak with your health care provider and your family about your wishes.