Skip to Main Content

We have a new app!

Take the Access library with you wherever you go—easy access to books, videos, images, podcasts, personalized features, and more.

Download the Access App here: iOS and Android


What is an advance directive?

An advance directive allows your physician to know what kind of care you would like to have if you become unable to make medical decisions (if you are in a coma, for example). It describes the kind of treatment you would want, depending on how sick you are. The directives indicate the type of care you wish to receive if you have an illness that you are unlikely to recover from, or if you are permanently unconscious. Advance directives usually tell your physician that you don’t want certain kinds of treatment. However, they can also say that you want a certain treatment no matter how ill you are.

¿Qué es una instrucción (directiva) anticipada? Una instrucción (directiva) anticipada le dice a su médico qué clase de cuidado le gustaría recibir si llegara a no poder tomar sus propias decisiones médicas (por ejemplo, si usted se encontrara en un estado de coma). Describe la clase de tratamiento que usted desea, dependiendo de qué tan enfermo(-a) se encuentre. Las instrucciones describirían qué tipo de cuidado Ud. desea si tiene una enfermedad de la cual es muy probable que no se recupere, o si usted está inconsciente permanentemente. Las instrucciones anticipadas típicamente le señalan a su médico que Ud. no quiere ciertos tipos de tratamiento. Sin embargo, también pueden indicar que Ud. quiere cierto tipo de tratamiento sin importar qué tan enfermo(-a) se encuentre.

What is a living will?

A living will is one type of advance directive. It is a written, legal document that describes the kind of medical treatments or life-sustaining treatments you would want if you were seriously or terminally ill. A living will doesn’t let you select someone to make decisions for you.

¿Qué es un testamento en vida? Un testamento en vida es un tipo de directiva anticipada. Es un documento legal y por escrito, que describe el tipo de tratamiento médico, o de tratamientos para mantenerse vivo, que Ud. desearía recibir, si tuviera una enfermedad grave o mortal. Un testamento en vida no le permite nombrar a alguien para que tome decisiones por usted.

What is a do not resuscitate order?

A do not resuscitate (DNR) order is another kind of advance directive. A DNR is a request not to have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if your heart stops or if you stop breathing. Unless given other instructions, hospital staff will try to help any patient whose heart has stopped or who has stopped breathing. You can use an advance directive form or tell your doctor that you don’t want to be resuscitated. Your doctor will put the DNR order in your medical chart. Doctors and hospitals in all states accept DNR orders.

¿Qué es una orden ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.