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Your Advance Directive (AD)

The Advance Directive (AD) is a legal document. It tells doctors and family members what medical treatment you desire when you can't speak for yourself. You choose, in advance, to accept or refuse life sustaining treatments. Your doctor should honor your AD or refer you to one who will.

If you refuse life support, you will not be abandoned. You have the right to comfort care and pain medication.

Filling out an AD is not enough. You must discuss your choices with your doctor and your family and make sure they agree to honor your wishes.

The AD allows you to name a person to direct your health care when you cannot do so. This is your "health care representative" or "attorney-in-fact" for health care. Make sure you pick someone who will follow your instructions and insist that your wishes for end-of-life care are respected.

Whether you travel or stay at home, your AD speaks for you. Give copies of the AD to your family members, doctor, attorney, health care representative and spiritual advisor. Provide a copy when you are admitted to a healthcare facility.

The AD is not difficult to complete. You can even carry it with you as a credit-card sized computer disc from Compassion in Dying.

You may contact Compassion in Dying at 503-221-9556 or

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General Disclaimer: is designed for educational purposes only and is not engaged in rendering medical advice or professional services. The information provided through should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, consult your health care provider.