Advance Directives



Helpful Links

*Permission granted by The Catholic Health Association of the United States

Copyright © 2008

National Health Care Decisions Day - Speak Up!

A simple, but amazing video on advance care planning that gracefully explains why it matters for all of us.

The Caring Conversation: A Family's Private Decision

ABC's Diane Sawyer narrates as a family begins the conversation about the family patriarch's final wishes.

Make your Decisions Known

At CHI Health, we are committed to hearing the voice of our patients throughout their care. We know there are times when our patients cannot make their own decisions known because of their illness or situation. At these times, Advance Directives documents can be helpful tools for those making health care and treatment decisions on the patient’s behalf. All adult patients are encouraged to complete their Advance Directives documents, and are asked to bring copies with them when they visit any of our facilities.

Because making health care decisions is an important matter, we recommend that you talk to your physician and those close to you about your values and your health care wishes. You may also want to consult an attorney, but there is no legal requirement to do so in order to complete Advance Directives. 

Once you have completed your Advance Directives documents, be sure to give copies to those close to you, to your physician and to any health care facility in which you receive care (such as a hospital.). Be sure to provide updated copies should your wishes change in the future.

If you have questions as you read the booklet provided in the link on this page, please ask your health care providers or contact the Ethics Center. They can direct you to the person who can respond to your questions.   

The Advance Directives booklets and forms on this webpage (available in English, Spanish and French) include forms you can use to complete your own Advance Directives documents. Please note these forms are not exclusive to CHI Health and can be used at any health care organization in Nebraska and Iowa.

Common Types of Information in Advance Directives:

Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care

Information about who you want to make health care and treatment decisions on your behalf when you cannot make them yourself. This person is known as your surrogate decision-maker (or your "Attorney-in-Fact").

Durable Power of Attorney for Mental Health Care

Information about who you want to make decisions on your behalf specifically for your mental health care and treatment needs. Generally, if you do not name someone to make decisions specifically for your mental health care and treatment needs, the person(s) named as your surrogate decision-maker(s) for your general health care and treatment needs can make these decisions on your behalf. 

Living Will Declaration

Information about your preferences for life-sustaining treatments and end of life care if you are in a terminal condition, a persistent vegetative state, or a state of permanent unconsciousness from which you will not likely recover. 

For general questions about Advance Directives, please contact the CHI Health Ethics Center or leave a confidential voicemail at 402-343-4476.