Put Your Wishes Into Words

Accidents and illnesses aren’t age dependent. People of all ages should make their medical wishes known with an advance directive, a legal document that provides directions for your family and caregivers if you are unable to express your wishes for medical or end-of-life care.

Two types of advance directives:

  1. Health Care Proxy: Choose someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. It should be someone you trust and does not have to be a family member.
  1. Living Will: Record your end-of-life instructions if you become too ill to speak for yourself. It allows you to accept or refuse certain medical care, choose to be resuscitated and/or donate your organs.

Completing these forms is easy. You don’t need to meet with a lawyer and you can update them as your wishes or medical situation changes. Give copies of completed forms to your doctor and others involved in your care.

To learn more and get sample forms, go to nyc.gov/doh/advanced-directives.