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Why You Should Have an Advance Directive for Health Care

April 13, 2018

April 16 is National Health Care Decisions Day. It’s aimed at encouraging adults to create an advance directive. An advance directive is a document that lets you plan for your medical care when you can’t make decisions for yourself.

An advance directive lets you:

  • pick someone to make health care decisions for you (your “agent”)
  • write down what kind of medical care you want and don’t want
  • decide the kind of treatments you want for end of life care
  • list who you would want to be your guardian, if you need one
  • say how you would want your family to be involved in your care in the future
  • give burial or cremation instructions
  • decide to be an organ donor

Everyone should have an advance directive. An advance directive is not just for seniors or people at the end of life. An advance directive can help you any time you can't make medical decisions for yourself.

Did You Know?Smiling woman speaking with doctor

No Vermont law says that your spouse or other next of kin can make medical decisions for you. So if you want your spouse or next of kin to make medical decisions for you, you should name that person as your agent in an advance directive.

Forms & More Details

Find the forms and learn more on the Medical Decisions: Advance Directives page of our website.