As a patient, you have the right to give instructions about your own health care. An "Advance Health Care Directive" enables you to name another individual such as a relative or other person as a healthcare representative or "agent" or to make health care decisions for you if you become incapable of making your own decisions or if you want someone else to make those decisions for you now even though you are still capable. The Advance Health Care Directive lets you designate a physician to be primarily responsible for your medical care and lets your physician, family and friends know your health care preferences, including the types of special treatment you want or don't want, your desire for diagnostic testing, surgical procedures, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and/or organ donation. It does not affect routine care for cleanliness and comfort, which must be given whether or not there is an advance directive. For further information on this, you may review the information provided at Advance Health Care Directive - California Dept. of Justice. We also recommend that you talk with your physician and your lawyer.
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