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Advance Directives

Advance directives are documents to direct medical care when a patient is unable to communicate his or her own wishes due to a medical condition. In Ohio, do not resuscitate orders, living wills, organ donation and durable powers of attorney are advance directives that are authorized by state law.


National Healthcare Decisions Day is April 16

NHDD, an initiative of The Conversation Project, exists as a 50-state annual initiative to provide clear, concise, and consistent information on health care decision-making to both the public and providers/facilities through the widespread availability and dissemination of simple, free, and uniform tools (not just forms) to guide the process. 

The observance exists to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance care planning. NHDD is an initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding healthcare and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.

Learn more and get involved at​

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What is Advanced Care Planning?

Advance care planning refers to when people proactively think about what their health care wishes would be if they were unable to speak for themselves at any time in the future, and communicate those wishes to others. Advanced care planning is important for people of all ages because anything can happen to anyone at any time and having a plan in place can help ensure that your health care wishes can be known and honored in any situation.

A powerful tool to help let your medical team know your health care wishes is through an Advance Directive.

Why is this important?

Did you know that no more than one third of all American adults have an advance care plan in writing? This is particularly concerning because studies suggest that roughly 70 percent of Americans will be unable to make decisions for themselves at some point in their lives. This is why advance care planning is so important. And, it is not just important for the elderly or those with severe illness.  Health crises can happen to anyone at any time.

How can I complete an advance directive?

Any person over age 18 who can make his or her own decisions can complete an advance directive form. You do not need a lawyer to complete advance directive forms. However, the forms need to be signed by a notary or two witnesses. The witness may include anyone except your physician, family members, or the person(s) you’re naming as decision maker in the advance directives.


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