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Create an Advance Directive

Let your loved ones and healthcare providers know what’s most important to you.

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance care planning is the process of thinking through and talking about your healthcare wishes so you can confidently create an advance directive. An advance directive is a legal document that makes your healthcare wishes clear if you were to become injured or sick and could not speak for yourself. Presbyterian has made the process easier with our electronic advance directive (eAD). When you complete the eAD process, your document will be stored in your medical record so that your wishes are always available to your healthcare team.

This is your healthcare and it should reflect your personal and cultural values. To make sure that you are always at the center of your care, click here to get started with an eAD.

We’re here to help. Talk with an advance care planning specialist.

Presbyterian offers trained advance care planning facilitators to answer any questions you might have and to support you with the process of completing an advance directive.

You can make an appointment with a facilitator to work toward creating a personal healthcare advance directive specific to you. Facilitators are available by appointment only, and there is no cost for this service. To schedule, please call (505) 559-7226 or toll-free at 1-866-773-7226.

Your Voice

Your healthcare decision maker should be someone who will be your voice when you cannot speak for yourself. This can include a spouse, a same-sex spouse or domestic partner, a close friend, or another loved one. Your healthcare decision maker should be someone who is close to you and knows your values, but who can also maintain a clear mind when decisions need to be made. Your healthcare decision maker is required to make decisions that are consistent with your advance directive document or known wishes.

Your Values

When thinking about your values, it is important to consider what matters most to you as an individual. For example, you will be asked what quality of life means to you and what you feel is too much or too little treatment. It is also very important to consider your spiritual, religious, and cultural beliefs, and how these influence your care choices.

Your Plan

The type of care you want is a very important part of your plan. When creating your advance directive document, you will be asked to choose different levels of care you would want (or not want) to receive. Some of the questions you will be asked are about do not resuscitate orders, life support systems, or if you have an illness such as Dementia.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Electronic Advance Directive

Can I share my plan with others?
Sharing your healthcare wishes with your loved ones is important. This means that they will never have to guess about the type of care that is important to you. When you create an electronic advance directive, you can easily share your plan with people that you choose by including them in your shared circle. If you create a paper advance directive, you should provide a paper copy.

Can I start filling it out and come back later?
Yes, as you complete the eAD process, you will always have the option to save your progress and return to complete the document later.

Can I change my decision maker or plan later on?
Yes, you can change or update your document as often as you like. In fact, it’s a good idea to review your document often to be sure that it still represents your current wishes.

Can I print a copy to keep at home?
Yes, once you sign your document, you will be able to print a copy if you wish.

Will my Healthcare Decision Maker be able to make decisions for me that involve money?
Not unless you complete a Power of Attorney form which grants rights to your agent to make decisions for you about financial and property matters.

What is a DNR form?
DNR means “Do Not Resuscitate.” Some people do not want their heart to be re-started (resuscitated) if it stops. In that case, they need to have a doctor fill out a DNR form. This is a signed doctor’s order. It tells others to NOT attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) if the person’s heart stops.

What is a Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment Document?
The Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment document is used to define the healthcare wishes for patients that have a life-limiting or very serious illness. This document is created by a healthcare provider during a conversation with the patient or their healthcare decision maker. Additional information is available at

Terms and Definitions

Healthcare Decision Maker – A Healthcare Decision Maker is a person or persons that you choose to voice your healthcare preferences and/or make medical decisions for you if you cannot make or voice your decisions. For some people, this might be a family member. For others, a family member may not be the best choice. Only you can decide.

Agent – This is another name for the person who has been named as a Healthcare Decision Maker.

Financial Power of Attorney – You may name a person to make financial (money) decisions for you. This person will have access to your financial information. This process is different and separate from naming a Healthcare Decision Maker.