In Utah, adults who are capable of making health care decision
generally have the right to say yes or no to medical treatment.
As a result, you have the right to prepare a document known as
"Advance Directive." This is an important matter; you may wish
to talk to family, friends, your doctor and your attorney before
deciding whether you want an Advance Directive.
This is general information about Advance Directives. It is not
intended to provide specific advice. If you have additional
questions about your legal rights, you should seek the
professional advice of a lawyer
What is an Advance Directive?
An Advance Directive is a written statement which reliably
shows that you have made a particular health care decision or
have appointed another person to make that decision on your
behalf. The two most common forms of Advance Directives are
a "Living Will" or "Power of Attorney for Health Care". However
an Advanced can take other forms or be called other things. An
Advanced Directive allows you to state your choice of health
care or to name someone to make those choices for you, if you
become unable to make decision about your future medical
treatment. You can say "Yes" to treatment you want say "No" to
treatment you do not want.
What is Living Will?
A Living Will generally states the kind of medical care you want
or do not want if you become unable to make your own
decisions. It is called a "Living Will" because it takes effect while
you are still living. The Utah legislature has adopted laws
governing wills. (See Utah Code section 75-2-104). An adult
sound mind may execute at any time a declaration governing
the withholding or withdrawl of life-sustaining treatment.
What is Power of Attorney for health care?
A "Power of Attorney" is a legal paper naming another person,s
uch as a husband, wife, daughter, son, or close friend, as your
"agent" or "representative" to make medical decisions for you if
you should become unable to make them for yourself. Your
agent, or representative, is guided by your instructions, and
you can provide instructions about any treatment you do or do
not want. In general, the power of attorney can give to the
agent or representatice the same powers an individual may
have or could enforce on his/her own behalf. Utah has laws on
Power of Attorney for Heath Care which allows an agent to
make medical decisions for the person giving the power of
Must a Health Care Provider follow an Advance
Federal Law requires hospitals, nursing facilities, home health
agencies, hospice programs and health maintenance
organizations (HMO's) to have written policies concerning
Advance Directives. The health care provider you choose must
inform you in writing of its written policy regarding Advance
Directives. Therefore, you should review and discuss the
provider's policy on following your Advance Directive.
When do Advance Directives take effect?
Your Advance Directives generally takes effect only after you
no longer can make personal decisions. As long as you can
make personal decisions on your own behalf, your health care
providers will rely on you, not on your Advance Directive.
Do I have to write an Advance Directive?
No. It is entirely up to you whether you want to prepare an
Advance Directive. Questions may arise about the kind of
medical treatment that you do and do not want to receive. An
Advance Directive may help to solve these important questions.
Your health care provider cannot require you to have an
Advance prohibit you from having an Advance Directive.
Can I cahgne my mind after I write an Advance Directive?
Yes. to change or cancel an Advance Directive, simply destroy
the original or take some other action to notify those who might
rely on your Advance Directive that you are changing it or no
longer want to have it effective.
What should I do with my Advance Directive if I choose
to have one?
Make sure that someone, such as a family member, knows that
you have an Advance Directive and knows where it is located.
You might consider the following:
If you have a power of attorney for health care, give a copy of
the original to your "agent" or "representative". Tell your health
care provider that you have an Advance Directive and ask the
provider to make it part of your medical record. Keep a second
copy of your Advance Directive in a safe plave where it can be
found easily, if needed.
Keep a small card in your purse or wallet, which states that you
have an Advance Directive, where it is lovated and who your
"agent or representative", is, if you have named one.
EXAMPLES OF LIVING WILLS, POWER OF ATTORNEY, ETC.
MAY BE FOUND AT: