Making decisions about medical care can be challenging, particularly for families under stress or emotional strain. Advance directives can guide difficult choices, such as the use of life-support systems and determining levels of care.
Advance directives are documents that detail a patient’s instructions about his or her future health care. Preparing advance directives enables you to tell your family and care team exactly the kind of care you do and do not want, and protects your rights.
We recommend that all patients who are 18 years of age or older prepare advance directives.
Under Texas law, the following advance directives must be followed by others if a patient becomes mentally or physically unable to express his or her wishes:
Specific instructions to a patient’s physicians and family about the kind of health care treatment that he or she wants and does not want
Medical power of attorney
A legal document that gives a third-party agent, or proxy, the authority to make health care decisions for the patient
Out-of-hospital do-not-resuscitate (DNR) order
A medical order signed by a patient’s physician that allows the patient to refuse specific life-sustaining treatments outside the hospital
Prepare an Advance Directive
To prepare an advance directive, download, print, and complete the appropriate form:
Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Order
Submit an Advance Directive
You may submit an advance directive to your health care professional at Clements University Hospital. To ensure that your advance directive is carefully followed, please take the following steps:
- Request that your health care provider forward your advance directive to the UT Southwestern Medical Records Department to ensure it is on file for every hospital visit.
- Provide all your health care providers, in each clinical practice you visit, a copy of your current directive.
- Notify all your health care providers if you modify or revoke the directive.