You Have Filled Out Your Health Care Directive, Now What?
California Advance Health Care Directive
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. California 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,
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 California document.
8. Be aware that your California 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 and hospital emergency personnel not to attempt CPR if your heart or
breathing should stop.
Currently not all states have laws authorizing these orders. We suggest you speak to
your physician if you are interested in obtaining one. CaringInfo does not
distribute these forms.