Legal Issues  
Staying in Charge of Your Health Care

People of any age can create documents called Advance Directives that let them keep control of their health care even if they become too sick to speak for themselves.

There are two kinds of Advance Directives.

• A Living Will lets you write down what kinds of care you want — and don’t want — if you are terminally ill and unable to make your wishes known.

• A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care lets you name a person you want to speak for you if you cannot speak for yourself.

These documents can make sure you get the care you want. They can also make things easier for your loved ones by letting them know your wishes about end of life care.

You do not need a lawyer or a notary to create an Advance Directive and these documents can be changed at any time. To get copies of Advance Directive forms, please call:

• RI Department of Elderly Affairs at 462-3000.

• RI Department of Health Facilities Regulation at 222-2566. Comfort One is a program that alerts EMT’s to comply with your request not to be resuscitated. A person needs to speak with their doctor about the program and the doctor has to make the request for the bracelet. To request more information please call:

• The Department of Health at 222-2401.

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