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Now that I have an advanced directive or living will, how do medical professionals know what to do?

An example of a Medic Alert DNR Bracelet.  They are also made in vinyl bracelets or metal necklases.
An example of a Medic Alert DNR Bracelet. They are also made in vinyl bracelets or metal necklases.
MedicAlert Foundation

If you have made a decision about your end-of-life care and want to ensure that it is carried out in the manner you desire, there are some steps to follow so that everyone knows what your wishes are.

The first thing to do is to communicate your wishes to your family and primary care physician (PCP). Your PCP will have the form, or it can be downloaded from the Texas Department of Health Services (DSHS) and you can fill it out with two witnesses and your PCP. There are very specific instructions on the form and the form is only valid with ALL of the information provided.

Then after the form is completed you MUST have either a plastic bracelet obtained from the State of Texas with the DNR identifiers on it or an intact, easily identifiable bracelet or necklace with the DNR logos on it. They are not provided by the state and must be acquired at the patient’s expense.

Many times these documents are associated with people that have advanced disease or a medical condition in which could result in sudden death, but the advance directive can also give your loved ones your intentions if you are unable to tell them yourself. An advance directive, also known as a living will, will allow your intentions to be known and carried out and leave them not wondering what mine have been.

This information is only relevant to the State of Texas. Contact the State Board of Health or speak to the physician where you or a loved one lives to find out the rules for advanced directives in that state.
The information about advanced directives can be found on the web at  or by calling (512) 370-1306 and listening to the recording from the DSHS.


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