Across Generations: The MN Health Care Directive —
Who Needs One?
It's important to plan ahead when it comes to health care decisions. This document explains why it's important for adults to plan, offers tips, and suggests places to get more information about Minnesota's Health Care Directive.
It's important to plan for health care decisions because...
- Adults have the right to control their own medical care by consenting to or refusing medical treatment. Patients have the right to understand health problems, care options, and effects of accepting or rejecting treatments.
- Sometimes decisions must be made when a person isn't able to decide or communicate preferences. For instance, anyone is at risk of injury or illness.
- Putting your wishes in writing helps make sure they'll be known and followed by family, friends, health care providers, and others.
Using a Directive Form
A Health Care Directive, commonly known as living wills and a durable power of attorney for health care, helps you make decisions and put your wishes in writing. Fortunately, completing one is easy! Download a Minnesota Health Care Directive form.
- On Part I, identify a person, called an agent, to make health decisions for you if you become unable to make or communicate decisions.
- On Part II, write instructions about your health care goals, fears, and concerns. You will include what you want as well as what you don't want. You can also state limits of the powers you want your agent to have.
- To make it legal, sign and date it. Then have the document witnessed by a notary public or two people, none of whom can be the agent.
- Lastly, make sure you share a copy of your directive with your agent and health care providers.
Visit the The Minnesota Health Care Directive for information and forms. You can also contact your local health care provider or Agency on Aging.
Stum, M. S. (2008). The Minnesota health care directive. St. Paul, MN: University of Minnesota Extension.
The Minnesota Health Care Directive — Planning tool to help you get the best end of life care.
Minnesota Health Care Directive (audio; 1:57) — One step for planning ahead though is to complete a health care directive, sometimes labeled a living will or durable power of attorney for health care. Transcript
Health Care Directive Workshop — Arrange for us to come and teach on this important topic. Excellent resource for employee groups, community organizations, and more.