ADVANCED DIRECTIVES

PLANNING FOR YOUR HEALTH CARE WHEN YOU ARE NO LONGER ABLE

Advance Directives are forms that explain your decisions about the medical care you want to receive in the future. The form may also tell who you want to make decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself. They are a way for you to let your family, friends, and doctors know your wishes. Here are two types of advance directive forms you may want to fill out:

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: This form lets you choose another person to make decisions about your medical care.

Living Will: This form tells others what type of care you wish to receive if you are at the end of life or unconscious. You may give instructions about medical care that could save or support your life.

Do Not Resuscitate Order: This form tells others that you do NOT want to be resuscitated if your breathing and heartbeat stop.

HOW TO MAKE AN ADVANCE DIRECTIVE:

  1. Choose your “patient advocate.” This is the person you choose to make decisions if you are unable. This person must be at least 18 years of age.
  2. Make your health care choices. Decide your wishes about life saving measures that would keep you alive like tube feeding, medicines, breathing machines or dialysis.
  3. Fill out the form. It must be seen and signed by two witnesses that are not your spouse, your heir, a close relative, employee of your life or health insurance provider, or an employee of the health facility that is treating you.

Give a copy of the form to anyone that should know your wishes, such as:

  • Doctors
  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Family
  • Friends

Important Points about advance directives:

  • The health plan supports your right to have an advance directive. You don’t have to fill out an advance directive, but it is a good idea
  • If you do fill one out, you can change it at any time
  • The forms are only used when you are unable to make your own decisions
  • No one can tell you what it must say

MORE INFORMATION:

If you have questions about advance directives talk to your doctor or see common questions and answers from the State of Michigan.

Michigan State Long Term Ombudsman Program Q and A (PDF)

FORMS:

If you need a copy of advance directive forms call Customer Service toll free at 1-866-291-8691. Forms are also below or available at your doctor's office.

COMPLAINTS:

If you have a complaint about how a provider is following your wishes, write or call:

Bureau of Health Professions
Complaint and Allegation Division
PO Box 30670
Lansing, MI 48909
517-241-2389

bhpinfo@michigan.gov

or a complaint may be filed on-line at:

File an Allegation Against a Health Care Licensee(click on "file a complaint")

  • P.O. Box 30125
  • Lansing, MI 48909
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  • planmanagement@ihpmi.org
  • 866-291-8691
  • 517-394-4590