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Advance Directives

If you are age 18 or older and mentally competent, you have the right to make decisions about your medical care. Advance directives are legal forms that record those decisions.

Types of Advance Directives

There are three kinds of advance directives:

Living will

Allows the statement of your wishes about receiving or withholding life-supportive medical care, such as the use of a respirator or ventilator or food and water through a tube.

The living will can only be put into use in cases of a terminal illness or persistent vegetative state with an inability to make or communicate decisions.

Download a list of frequently asked questions about living wills (PDF, 64 KB).

Health care power of attorney (health care proxy)

Allows you to name a person to make health care decisions for you if you become unable to decide for yourself.

Advance instruction for mental health treatment

Allows you to give instructions and preferences about mental health treatment. You may select someone to make these decisions for you if you lose the ability to decide for yourself. This document automatically expires in two years.

Advance Directive Policies

If you already have a North Carolina advance directive, we must have a copy in order to follow your wishes. If you cannot give us a copy, or if you do not have a North Carolina advance directive, the best way to make sure your wishes are followed is to complete a North Carolina advance directive.

Visit the North Carolina Department of the Secretary of State Web site for advance directive forms and other information.

We will be happy to assist you in completing the appropriate paperwork while you are here.