Advance Directives

What is a medical advance directive?

Advance Directives are written instructions. They tell your doctors and other care givers about the kinds of medical care you want to get in an emergency. In Colorado, medical Advance Directives include:  

  • A Medical Durable Power of Attorney. This names a person you trust to make decisions for you if you cannot speak for yourself.
  • A Living Will. This tells your doctor what type of life supporting procedures you want and do not want. 
  • A Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Directive. This is also known as a “Do Not Resuscitate” order. It tells medical persons not to revive you if your heart and/or lungs stop working.

Why Do I Need to Know About Advance Directives?

Federal law requires that we tell you about Colorado’s laws relating to your right to make health care decisions. This law applies to all adult patients. It doesn’t matter what their medical condition is. Even though CHP only provides mental health services, we still must tell you about Colorado’s law on Advance Directives.

For more information about Advance Directives, talk with your Primary Care Physician (PCP). To get a copy of CHP’ policy on Advance Directives, call OMFA at 719-538-1430 or toll free at 1-800-804-5040.

Your provider will ask you if you have an Advance Directive. If you wish, your provider will put a copy of your Advance Directive in your medical file. If a medical provider does not follow your Advance Directive, you may call the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment at 303-692-2980 and file a complaint.

CHP will provide your mental health care whether or not you have an advance directive.

Some of our members want to make an advance directive, but don’t know where to start. “Five Wishes” helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. It deals with all of a person's needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. To learn more, go to Five Wishes.

The following links explain our policy on Advance Directives and the Colorado State law that describes your right to have an advance directive,