Advance Directives / Living Will

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 Crisis Plan

Colorado does not have a law about behavioral health advance directives. If you have on-going behavioral health problems, it is a good idea to have a crisis plan. A crisis plan will help you have more control over decisions if you have a behavioral health crisis. Talk with your behavioral health provider or Care Coordinator about writing a crisis plan.

You can learn more about Advance Directives on our links below.