Every person has the right to make his or her own decisions about health care. An advance directive is a document that helps ensure the care you receive is in line with your values and wishes, even if you aren’t available to communicate them at the time.
Advance directives aren't just for older adults. Unexpected end-of-life situations can happen at any age, so it's important for ALL adults to have advance directives. Springfield Clinic encourages all patients age 18 and older to have an advance directive, regardless of their health.
Depending on the form you use, an advance directive allows you to do one or both of the following:
You can change your mind about your health care agent or preferences at any time. Keep in mind you can record your wishes for any level of care— not just wishes to withhold care. Your directive will only be used if you can’t speak for yourself.
Remember, Springfield Clinic offers ALL adult patients a chance to complete an advance directive. It doesn’t depend on your current health, and it doesn’t mean that your doctors expect your health to worsen. If you choose to complete an advance directive, Springfield Clinic will store a copy in your electronic health record (EHR). If needed, it can be used in the future—in one year or thirty years from now.
If your wishes change, you can complete a new form and provide it to Springfield Clinic. Only the most recent directive will be used.
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