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You can inform others of your health care wishes with an advance health care directive. A health care directive is a written document that informs others of your wishes about your health care in case you are unable to make your own health care decisions. It allows you to name a person to decide for you if you are unable to or if you want someone else to decide for you.
You will still receive medical treatment if you don’t have a written directive. Health care providers will listen to what you or people close to you say about your treatment preferences, but the best way to be sure your wishes are followed is to have a health care directive.
You must be at least 18 years old to make a health care directive. The following kinds of information may be included:
Your health care provider generally will follow your health care directive, or any instructions from your agent, if the health care follows reasonable medical practice. If the provider cannot follow your health care directive or your agent’s directions about life-sustaining treatment, the provider must inform you or the agent. The provider must also document the notice in your medical record. The provider must allow the agent to transfer you to another provider who will follow the agent’s directions.
Your health care directive lasts until you change or cancel it. Assistance is available to help you prepare your health care directive. You can contact your health care provider or use the resources below.
It is important to discuss your wishes with people close to you and with your health care provider. Once you have completed your health care directive, give a copy to your agent and to your health care provider so it can be included in your medical record.
Hennepin Health has policies and procedures that follow state and federal regulations for advance health care directives. We will notify you of any changes to the state law as soon as possible, but no more than 90 days after the change goes into effect.
If you believe your health care directive is not being followed, you may file a complaint with the Office of Health Facility Complaints at 651-201-4200 (800-369-7994), TTY 651-201-5797.
For more information and health care directive forms, visit:
Approved by DHS 6/14/23; CO-1455-MC
612-596-1036, TTY 711