Advance Care Planning

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance care planning means planning ahead for how you want to be treated if you are very ill or near death. Sometimes when people are in an accident or have an illness that will cause them to die they are not able to talk or to let others know how they feel. Texas law allows you to tell your doctor how you want to be treated by using an advance directive.

Chapter 166 of the Texas Health and Safety code is the state law on advance care planning through advance directives. Chapter 166 explains advance directives, includes forms to use for advance directives and states how medical decisions can be made when a person does not have an advance directive.

Advance care planning is a five-step process.

  • Thinking about what you would want to happen if you could not talk or communicate with anyone.
  • Finding out about what kind of choices you will need to make if you become very ill at home, in a nursing home or in a hospital.
  • Talking with your family and doctor about how you want to be treated.
  • Filling out papers that spell out what you want if you are in an accident or become sick.
  • Telling people what you have decided.

Advance directives FAQs

Advance Directives Forms

Copies of advance directives for use by Texas residents are free on the Health and Human Services website. The available forms are:

  • Declaration for mental health treatment
  • Directive to physicians and family or surrogates
  • Medical power of attorney
  • Out-of-hospital do not resuscitate
  • Statutory durable power of attorney

Advance Directive Rule