Skip to Main Content

What if I don't have an advance directive?

If you do not have an Advance Directive and you become unable to make decisions about your health care, your physician or health care provider will ask your spouse or closest available relative for consent. This informal traditional practice has been enacted into law in some states so that health care providers have specific guidance on which relatives to contact and in what order to contact them.

If relatives are not available to give consent for treatment, such laws normally protect the physician or health care provider in the event treatment is provided. In most non-emergency cases, and all emergency cases, this facility and its medical staff will err on the side of supporting life.