Advance Directives at MCMH + Clinics

Do you need help making an Advance Directive? MCMH + Clinics Social Services Department is here to help!

What is an Advance Directive?

An Advance Directive is a general term for legal documents (such as a Medical Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care) that state a person's wishes for life-sustaining medical treatments and naming someone to make healthcare decisions for you if you become unable to do so. Adults of every age should consider forming an Advance Directive. We encourage you to talk with your physician about this and involve family members in the discussion, too.

What is a Medical Living Will?

  • A Living Will directs any medical professionals treating you know that certain life-sustaining procedures should be withheld or withdrawn if you are in a terminal condition and unable to make decisions for yourself. 

What is a life-sustaining procedure?

  • Any mechanical or artificial means which sustains, restores or supplements a vital body function (example - CPR or mechanical ventilation)
  • Nutrition or hydration (food or water) through a feeding tube or intravenous feeding

What is a terminal condition?

  • Incurable or irreversible condition that, without life-sustaining procedures, will result in death in a relatively short period of time or a state of permanent unconsciousness from which there is no likely recovery.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare?

A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is a legal document that allows a designated person to make healthcare decisions on behalf of an individual in the event they become unable to make decisions for themselves. This document is designed to ensure that the individual's wishes regarding medical treatment and end-of-life care are respected and followed. By appointing a trusted person as a healthcare agent, individuals can have peace of mind knowing that medical care decisions will be made in their best interest.

Iowa law provides two types of Advance Directives:

Living Will and Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.

Other Resources include: