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What are Health Care Instructions?

      Your health care instructions will allow you to appoint a Health Care Agent to talk with your doctors and make health care decisions on your behalf if your doctors are unable to talk to you.  They will also inform your Health Care Agent(s) and your doctors of your wishes if your condition is deemed terminal (an incurable or irreversible condition, which, without the administration of life support systems, you will, in the opinion or your physician, result in death within a relatively short time) or if you are determined to be permanently unconscious (a permanent come or persistent vegetative state which is an irreversible condition in which you are at no time aware of yourself or the environment and show no behavioral response to the environment).  This document states that if you are in either one of these situations, that you request, or do not request, that you be allowed to die and not be kept alive through life support systems.  The instructions state that, either way, you want sufficient pain medication to maintain your physical comfort.

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