What North Dakota Residents Need to Know About Advance Health Care Directives
If you became ill or injured and were unable to speak for yourself, would your loved ones know what kind of medical treatment you want? Would your family members and doctors be legally bound to carry out your wishes?
Without a valid document directing your health care, your wishes for medical treatment may not be known or honored. In an extreme case, your family members could end up in court, arguing over what’s best for you. In North Dakota, you can avoid outcomes like these by preparing a legal document called a Health Care Directive.
Your Health Care Directive allows you to spell out your preferences for medical treatment and name a trusted person to carry them out. (In many other states, you need two separate documents to accomplish these tasks, usually called a Living Will and a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care. You may see those documents discussed elsewhere on this website; the rules that apply to them also govern Health Care Directives.)
Rarely will you need a lawyer to prepare a Health Care Directive. To learn about some situations in which you might want to consult a professional, see Do I Need a Lawyer to Make a Living Will?
The following articles will help you understand how a Health Care Directive works and how to make one:
For details about using a Health Care Directive to specify your health care wishes, see What Can I Cover in My Living Will?
To learn how to pick the person who will be your decision maker under your Health Care Directive, see How Do I Choose a Health Care Agent?
When you’re ready to make your health care directives, see The Best Sources for North Dakota Health Care Forms to get the documents you need.