You Have Filled Out Your Health Care Directive, Now What?
is an important legal document. Keep the
original signed document in a secure but accessible place. Do not put the
original document in a safe deposit box or any other security box that would
keep others from having access to it.
2. Give photocopies of the signed original to your agent and alternate agent,
doctor(s), family, close friends, clergy and anyone else who might become
involved in your health care. If you enter a nursing home or hospital, have
photocopies of your document placed in your medical records.
3. Be sure to talk to your agent(s), doctor(s), clergy, family and friends about your
wishes concerning medical treatment. Discuss your wishes with them often,
particularly if your medical condition changes.
4. Arizona maintains an Advance Directive Registry. By filing your advance directive
with the registry, your health care provider and loved ones may be able to find a
copy of your directive in the event you are unable to provide one. You can read
more about the registry, including instructions on how to file your advance
directive, at https://www.azsos.gov/adv_dir/.
5. You may also want to save a copy of your form in an online personal health
records application, program, or service that allows you to share your medical
documents with your physicians, family, and others who you want to take an
active role in your advance care planning.
6. If you want to make changes to your documents after they have been signed
and witnessed, you must complete a new document.
7. Remember, you can always revoke your Arizona document.
8. Be aware that your Arizona document will not be effective in the event of a
medical emergency. Ambulance and hospital emergency department personnel
are required to provide cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) unless they are
given a separate directive that states otherwise. These directives called
“prehospital medical care directives” or “do not resuscitate orders” are designed
for people whose poor health gives them little chance of benefiting from CPR.
These directives instruct ambulance personnel, hospital emergency personnel
and direct care staff persons not to attempt CPR if your heart or breathing
The directives must be in the form required by the Arizona Department of Health
Services, and must be signed by you, your physician, and a witness. A form can
be found online at http://www.azag.gov/life_care/. We suggest you speak to
your physician for more information. Caringinfo does not distribute these