Patient Resources

Advance Directives

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 patients to tell their family and care team exactly the kind of care they do and do not want, and protects their rights. 

We recommend that all patients who are 18 years of age or older prepare advance directives.

Under Texas law, these advance directives (PDF) must be followed if patients become mentally or physically unable to express their wishes:

Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates

Also called a living will, this document provides specific instructions about the kind of health care treatment that a person does and does not want.

Medical Power of Attorney

Formerly called durable powers of attorney for health care, this document gives an agent or proxy the power to make health care decisions.

Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Order

A medical order prepared and signed by the attending physician, this document allows a patient to refuse specific life-sustaining treatments outside the hospital.

Complete an Advance Directive

To prepare an advance directive, download, print, and complete the appropriate form:

Living Will (Directive to Physicians and Family or Surrogates)

PDF: English | en Español

Medical Power of Attorney

PDF: English | en Español

Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Order

PDF: English

Submit an Advance Directive

UT Southwestern accepts written advance directives from patients who present them to us.

  • 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.