Choosing your care
When you need medical care, you have the right to make choices about that care. There may come a time when you are so sick that you cannot make your choices known. You can stay in charge by putting your choice in writing ahead of this time. This is called giving advance directives.
What is an advance directive?
Under Maine law, any spoken, written decisions or instructions about the health care you want in the future is called an advance directive. You can tell your doctor or family what you want, but it is best to write it down.
Advance directives also are sometimes called living wills and durable health care power of attorney. If you have already signed one, be sure your doctor, your hospital, and your family have a copy. If you have not signed a form, you may use the health care advance directives, but you do not have to.
Who can complete an advance directive?
Anyone living in Maine who is 18 years of age or older can complete an advance directive. If you are younger than 18 years, you may also be able to complete an advance directive under other certain, limited circumstances.