Medical Advance Directives
You have the right to give written guidelines to health care workers about the type of health care you want or do not want. This is important if you become so ill or injured that you cannot speak for yourself. These guidelines are called Advance Directives. Advance Directives are legal papers you prepare while you are healthy. In Colorado, they include:
- A Medical Durable Power of Attorney. This names a person you trust to make medical decisions for you if you cannot speak for yourself.
- A Living Will. This tells your doctor what type of life sustaining procedures you want and do not want.
- A Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Directive. This is also known as a “Do Not Resuscitate” Order. It tells medical persons not to revive you if your heart and/or lungs stop working.
For facts about Advance Directives, talk with your Primary Care Provider (PCP). Your PCP will have an Advance Directives form that you can fill out.
Your PCP will ask you if you have an Advance Directive and if you want a copy placed in your health record. However, you do not need to have an advance directive to get health care.
If you would like more information on Advance Directives, you can go to the State of Colorado’s website and read the State Law on Advance Directives. This link is for information purposes only. It is not intended to give legal advice or suggest what you should do.
If you think your providers are not following your Advance Directive, you can file a complaint with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. You can find the contact phone number by clicking on this link to your local Department of Public Health.
Behavioral Health Order for Scope of Treatment
In August 2019, the State of Colorado passed a law allowing you to have a Behavioral health Order for Scope of Treatment. This is also called a Psychiatric Advanced Directive (PAD). Like a medical advanced directive, a PAD is a legal document that shares your choices for future mental health treatment. The PAD is used to make sure your wishes are known if you cannot make decision for yourself because of a mental health crisis.
You can learn more about Advance Directives on our links below.
- Advance Directives Policy
- Colorado Medical Advance Directives
- Colorado Psychiatric Advanced Directives
- Five Wishes
- Achieve Solutions Articles
From the Achieve Solutions site, search for “Advance Directives” in the search bar in the top-right corner of the page.
You can attend our Advance Directive – Life Care Planning Workshop on the last Thursday of every month. Call us for more information, 888-502-4185. This is a free call.