Advance Directive

How could you be sure you would receive the medical treatment you choose if you were sick or incapacitated (for example, if you are unable to speak for yourself)?

You have the legal right for your health care choices to be stated, even when you cannot talk. Your choices are made legal by a Health Care Advance Directive.

Question: What is a Health Care Advance Directive?

Answer: A Health Care Advance Directive tells others about how you want to be treated when you are sick, hurt and not able to speak for yourself.

If you would like to make sure your wishes are heard if you cannot talk, you will need to start a Health Care Advance Directive. This can be done through a Living Will and/or a Health Care Power of Attorney. Both are explained below.

Question: What is a Living Will?

Answer: 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.

Question: What is Health Care Power of Attorney?

Answer: A Health Care Power of Attorney allows you to choose a fellow adult who would make health care choices for you if you are not able.

Plan Ahead

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

Health care laws differ from state to state. To make sure your wishes are heard, you should use a form that you know is legal in the state where you live. Below is a list of web site links to your state’s facts. For more info, click on your state’s link or call the state number listed below:


Call 1-800-282-6556


Georgia Advance Directives for Health Care; or 1-866-552-4464


What are Advance Directives?

Eastern and South Central KY: 1-866-277-5733

Western KY: 1-866-452-9243

Northwest and Central KY: 1-859-431-8200

Louisville and surrounding counties: 1-800-292-1862


Advance Directives Resource Center; or 317-233-1325

West Virginia

West Virginia Center for End of Life Care; or 1-877-209-8086

Info for US

CaringInfo: National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization