Completing Your Health Care Directive
To make sure your wishes are known even if you can’t speak for yourself, complete a Health Care Directive and chose a health care agent. Care Partners’ nurse can help you understand the choices or complete the form. Care Partners staff can also mail out forms, help you complete them on-line and assist you in making sure it’s on file at the clinic and hospital.
Step One: Think about what is important to you regarding your healthcare and quality of life. You may wish to talk this over with your family, trusted friends, or medical advisers. Consider your preferences for medical care should you become unable to speak for yourself. For example, would you want your health care provider to use whatever measures are available to treat you, including transporting you to Duluth or to the nearest ICU bed, or putting you on a ventilator? Would you prefer to focus treatment on comfort care or whatever treatments can be provided locally or in your home? Do you want to let your agent make the decision with your provider's advice, based on your condition and available treatment options? More questions and guidance can be found on the Honoring Choice Minnesota website.
Step Two: Download and complete a directive using the links below. If you want to quickly fill out a health care directive in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, consider choosing the Honoring Choices 2-page form. It lets you just name a health care agent and alternative agent, and add a few comments. For longer forms that give you an opportunity to work through your values, wishes and choices for medical treatments you can choose a 4-page or 8-page version.
Step Three: In order for your directive to be a legal document, it must be notarized OR signed by two adult witnesses. If you have the document notarized, wait to sign it until the notary instructs you to do so. Many banks and credit unions offer free notary services to their customers. During the COVID-19 epidemic you may be able to access a notary using your financial institution's drive-through window. Click here for a note about banks/credit unions in the Grand Marais area that are offering this service. If you choose to use two witnesses instead of a notary, remember that the person you designate as your Agent CANNOT also be one of your witnesses.
Step Four: Keep your original completed Health Care Directive where it can be easily found, and make sure to give copies to your designated Agent as well as your health care providers. Click here for how to submit copies to local health care providers. You may also want to give a copy to family or close friends, your personal attorney, or a faith leader.