Advance Directives:Your Right To Decide

Advance Directives:Your Right To Decide


What is the ‘Georgia Advance Directive For Health Care’?

The ‘Georgia Advance Directive For Health Care’ is a legal document that you complete. It tells your doctor and your healthcare providers your written instructions about your future medical care in the event you become unable to speak for yourself.

As of July 1, 2007, the Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare has replaced the Georgia laws on the Living Will and the Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare. This document combines the characteristics of both the living will and the durable power of attorney for healthcare and still allows people to choose for themselves the medical care they want when they are no longer able to communicate with doctors or family. Those persons who already had living wills and/or durable powers of attorney for healthcare are allowed to keep the forms that they have and they are still legally binding until they are revoked. The Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare was repealed or removed from the law and the Living Will law was completely rewritten and replaced.

The changes by the 2007 Georgia General Assembly were made to reduce confusion, inconsistency, out-of-date terminology and confusing and inconsistent requirements for execution as well as to follow trends set by other states to combine the concepts of the living will and healthcare agency into a single legal document.
Do I need Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare?
No but an Advance directive give you a voice in decisions about your medical care when you are unable to do so. As long as you are able to express your own decisions, your advance directives will not be used.

Do I need a lawyer to complete an advance directive?

No. The form provided is legal in Georgia if the directions on the form are followed.

What is Stamps Health Services policy about advance directives?

Stamps Health Services recognizes that adults should consider end of life decisions and make responsible arrangements for this purpose. All competent adults (18 years or older) presenting to SHS with advance directives will be assisted by a staff member who will copy the advance directive and scan it into the EHR, and return the original form to the patient.

  • The patient is responsible for informing his/her provider about any living will, medical power of attorney, or other directive that could affect his/her care.
  • An appointment to discuss the advance directives with the Director, Primary Care will be scheduled.
  • At that visit, the patient will be informed that in the event of a life-threatening medical emergency, the role of the SHS will be to render emergency medical care and to arrange transport of the patient, along with a copy of the advance directives and other materials in the medical record as indicated, to the appropriate medical facility.
  • The patient will be given a copy of the SHS policy regarding Advance Directives and will be given a form to sign, which is witnessed and dated by the Director, Primary Care, indicating that the patient understands and has received a copy of the policy.
  • A notation on the alert section of patient record will show that a copy of the advanced directives has been scanned in EHR.
  • An Advance Directive for Health Care may be revoked at any time by writing a clear statement expressing the intent to revoke the advance directive or by orally expressing the intent to revoke the advance directive in the presence of a witness. The revocation is effective when a provider documents it in the EHR.
  • Stamps Health Services staff MAY NOT sign as a witness to any of these documents.

Can I change my mind after I write an advance directive?

You may change or cancel your advance directive at any time. This means you can change the terms or change your agent for health care decisions. To change your advance directive, tear up the original advance directive and complete a new form, have it signed and witnessed.

How do I get my Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare?

Click HERE for a copy of the Georgia Advanced Directive.