The Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) Form helps you to make health care choices now in case you can’t speak for yourself later on.
You can use an AHCD do many things. Like say who you want to speak for you and what kind of care you want. AHCDs are “advance” because you prepare one before health care choices. AHCDs direct who will speak for you and what should be done.
In California, the Power of Attorney for Health Care is part of the AHCD. This part allows a person to choose an individual to make their health care choices for them. An Individual Healthcare Instruction selects what can be done.
Together, you and your PCP can make decisions that will set your mind at ease. It can help your PCP and other providers understand your wishes about your health. You should talk to your provider about your wishes. AHCDs will not take away your right to make your own decisions. AHCDs will work only when you are unable to speak for yourself. If your directive is not being followed, you may file a complaint. A request can be sent in writing to:
Attorney General’s Office
Attn: Public Inquiry Unit
P.O. Box 944255
Sacramento, CA 94244-2550
Examples of AHD include:
- Living Will
- Healthcare Power of Attorney
- “Do Not Resuscitate” orders
- Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Form (POLST)
You will not be discriminated against for not having an AHCD. Ask your doctor, nurse, social worker or healthcare provider to get more information for you. You can have a lawyer write an advance directive for you. You can also complete an advance directive by filling in the blanks on a form.
For more information on AHCDs, please call the Department of Health Care Services for a free brochure. You can also call Member Services at 1-877-658-0305 (For TTY, contact California Relay by dialing 711 and provide the 1-877-658-0305 number).