Your care team at Saint Mary’s Hospital is committed to providing you (and your designated family members) with information regarding medical treatment options, but the final decision to receive or deny treatment is yours to make. Through advance directives, you can declare what level of care you wish to receive, as well as which individuals you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf.
What is an Advance Directive?
An advance directive is a written legal document that states your preferences (or “directives”) with regard to your medical care. In Connecticut, there are two types of advance directives:
- The living will is a document that defines your wishes with regard to the life-supporting treatments and procedures you may receive if you have a terminal condition or are permanently unconscious. The signatures of two witnesses are required for a living will to be valid.
- The appointment of a health care representative is a document that allows you to appoint a family member or friend to convey your wishes with regard to withholding or withdrawing life support systems in the event that you are unable to communicate decisions about your medical care. This document also requires the signatures of two witnesses to be valid.
Ideally, you will complete an advance directive form before a condition or circumstance develops that prevents you from making your own healthcare decisions. If you are a patient in the hospital, staff members from Pastoral Care or Social Work are available to discuss your advance directives with you and your family, and provide you with the forms. Forms are also included below for your convenience.
For a full explanation of your rights including advance directive forms, please review Your Rights To Make Health Care Decisions: A Summary of Connecticut Law (PDF).
Connecticut Living Will Laws
If you have any questions about advance directives, please discuss them with your healthcare provider and family. If you have legal questions about Connecticut Living Will Laws, please consult an attorney, or for more information see the State of Connecticut Living Will Laws. You may also contact the State of Connecticut Attorney General’s Office at 55 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106 or 860-808-5318.
CT Advance Directives / Living Will Form