What is an Advance Directive?
An advance directive is your written record about your future care and treatment, including mental health care. It helps your family and provider know your wishes about your medical care. You must be of sound mind and at least 18 years or older or an emancipated minor to have an advance directive. You choose a person to make health care choices for you when you cannot make them. You may also use an advance directive to keep certain people from making health care decisions for you.
Advance Directives under Georgia Law
The State of Georgia has joined the living will and health care power of attorney into a single record. It is called an advance directive for health care. It must be in writing. This can be done through a living will and/or a health care power of attorney. Both are explained below.
What is a Living Will?
A living will states, in writing, the health care you wish to have or not have, when you are sick, hurt and not able to speak for yourself.
What is Health Care Power of Attorney?
A health care power of attorney allows you to choose an adult who would make health care choices for you if you are not able.
It will help you, your family and your friends if you create your Health Care Advance Directive. When you make your living will or choose a person as your health care power of attorney, the health care provider will know how to care for you on your own terms, even when you cannot speak for yourself.
Learn more about Advance Directives by:
- Talking with your PCP.
- Going online at http://aging.dhs.georgia.gov/.
- Calling the Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Aging Services at 1-404-657-5258. You can also visit them at 2 Peachtree Street NW, Suite 9395, Atlanta, GA 30303-3142.
- Visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s website at CaringInfo.org or call 1-800-282-6556.
- Speaking with a local lawyer or legal aid service.
This information is for general use only and is not meant to be legal advice.
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