For Patients & Families

Advanced Directives & Living Wills

You have the right to make health care decisions about the medical care you receive. If you do not want certain treatments, you have the right to tell your physician you do not want them and have your wishes followed.

You also have the right to receive information from your physician to assist you in reaching a decision about what medical care is to be provided to you.

There may come a time when you are unable to actively participate in determining your treatment due to serious illness, injury or other disability.

Click here to learn more about advance directives and living wills, or to download forms provided by the Connecticut Attorney General’s Office.


Advance Directives

When you are admitted, you should provide the Hospital with a copy of any legal documents you may have regarding your healthcare.

These documents may include an “advance directive” such as a living will, appointment of a health care agent or durable power of attorney for healthcare decisions. If you do not have an advance directive or wish to receive additional information or assistance, a referral will be made for you to our Care Management Department.

A living will is a legal document that specifies the medical care you would like to receive if you are ever permanently unconscious or otherwise dying and unable to speak for yourself.

A Living Will takes effect only when the patient is incapacitated and can no longer express his or her wishes. Appointment of a healthcare agent enables you to authorize a family member(s) or friend(s) to convey your wishes to your doctor about the use of life support systems in the event that you are not able to express your wishes yourself. The best way to communicate your wishes to your health care agent is to make a living will and then give a copy of it to your health care agent.

A durable power of attorney for health care decisions allows you to name another person to make health care decisions for you, except those regarding the discontinuation of life support systems. Since it may be used for purposes other than health care, it is best to discuss this option with your attorney. While these documents remain in effect until changed by you, a copy needs to be presented to the Hospital each time you are admitted. Patients with a legal guardian, conservator or power of attorney need to bring a copy of the document with them when they register at the Hospital.