The Patient Self-Determination Act of 1990 requires health care providers to inform you of your rights under state law to make decisions concerning your medical care. This includes your right to accept or refuse medical or surgical treatment and your right to write an advance directive.
Advance Directives are written instructions about how you want medical decisions made if you can no longer communicate your wishes. The two most common types of advance directives are a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and a Health Care Declaration/Living Will.
Advance Directives allow you to plan ahead in the event you are injured and/or become very sick. The documents can state what medical treatments you would want, and enable you to appoint another person you trust to make decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself.
Having conversations with your family and health care providers will provide a clear plan for how you want to be treated. This way, in the event of a crisis, there is a plan in advance that reflects and follows your goals and values.
If you do not have an Advance Directive this site includes an English and Spanish form for you to fill out and give to your health care provider. We have also included a document of frequently asked questions, as well as a glossary of terms that relate to advance directives. Additional information on advance directives and advance care planning can also be found at:
It’s Mercy’s policy to honor your Advance Directive within the limits of the law and the guidelines of the current Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services provided by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).