Advance Directives

California Advance Health Care Directive

It can be difficult to talk about a serious illness or end-of-life care. Yet, before you are faced with either, it’s important to make sure your loved ones know how you want your medical care handled if you become unable to make your own medical decisions. An advance directive can help you do that.

How It Works

To prepare yourself in the event you become incapacitated and can no longer make health care decisions for yourself, the California Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) allows you to:

  • Appoint a health care agent (also known as durable power of attorney for health care) who will have the legal authority to make health care decisions for you.
  • Make specific written instructions for your future health care. The AHCD replaces the Natural Death Act and is now recognized as the legal format for a living will in the state of California.

Where to Distribute

If you choose to complete an AHCD, the originals should be given to your health care agent. They should also be made part of your permanent medical record and copies filed with your doctor. Copies should also be provided to family members or close friends who might accompany you to the hospital. Please bring your advance directive to Hi-Desert Medical Center, so that it can be made part of your hospital record.

You have the right to revoke your advance health care directive or replace it at any time.

Download the English standardized AHCD form or the Spanish standardized AHCD form.

Download the English/Spanish standardized AHCD form

Commonly Asked Questions

For answers to commonly asked questions about advance directives and do not resuscitate orders, see our frequently asked questions.