What Happens If I Do Not Make An Advance Directive?

Your family can tell your doctor to continue to treat you. They can also tell your doctor to stop or not give treatment to keep you alive (life sustaining treatment) if you are dying or in a permanent coma. Family members may not, however, be able to make other decisions for you unless you name one of them as your agent in your advance directive. If the doctor can't reach a family member, the doctor may ask another adult relative or good friend who knows your values.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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