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Advance Directives


Information about Advance Directives in Connecticut

This material is provided for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be construed as legal advice.

An advance directive is a legal document through which you provide your directions or wishes as to your medical care should you become unable to make or communicate your decisions about your medical treatment. As of October 1, 2006, new Connecticut laws went into effect regarding Advances Directives. In Connecticut, there are two types of Advance Directives:

  1. Living will - appointment of a health care agent
    A living will is a document that states whether you wish to have life sustaining procedures or treatment administered should you be in a terminal condition or permanently unconscious. The living will tells your physician whether you want "life support systems" to keep you alive in these situations or whether you do not want to receive such treatment, even if the result is your death. A living will goes into effect only (1) when you are unable to make or communicate your decisions about your medical care and (2) when you are in a terminal condition or permanently unconscious.

    A health care agent is a person whom you authorize in writing to convey your wishes concerning whether you wish to withhold or withdraw life support systems. The agent does not become involved in any other treatment decisions. A health care agent does not act unless you are unable to make or communicate your decisions about your medical care.
  2. Attorney-in-fact for health care decisions
    An attorney-in-fact for health care decisions is a person whom you name in a document called a Durable Power of Attorney, to make medical decisions other than withdrawal of life support systems on your behalf should you become unable to make or communicate such decisions yourself.

How Do I Make an Advance Directive?

You can get a copy of the brochure Your Rights to Make Health Care Decisions from the Office of the Connecticut Attorney General (.pdf document - opens in a new browser window). This booklet contains general information about advance directives including answers to frequently asked questions and all of the Connecticut forms for making advance directives. You are not required to use an attorney to create advance directives, but since some documents must be notarized you will need a Notary Public.

More Connecticut help:

 Attorney General's Health Issues web page
 National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives - Connecticut

Other resources:

 National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives
 Info for Other States

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