You have the right to give written instructions to health care workers about the type of health care you want or do not want. This is important if you become so ill or injured that you cannot speak for yourself. These instructions are called Advance Directives. Advance Directives are legal papers you prepare while you are healthy. In Colorado, they include:
- A Medical Durable Power of Attorney. This names a person you trust to make medical decisions for you if you cannot speak for yourself.
- A Living Will. This tells your doctor what type of life sustaining 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.
For more information about Advance Directives, talk with your Primary Care Medical Provider (PCMP). Your PCMP will have an Advance Directives form that you can fill out. The ICHP Customer Service Department or the client advocate at your PCMP office can give you information on how to make an Advance Directive.
Your PCMP will ask you if you have an Advance Directive and if you want a copy placed in your health record. However, you do not need to have an advance directive to get health care.
If you think your providers are not following your Advance Directive, you can file a complaint with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. They can be reached at:
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, Colorado 80246-1530
If you would like more information on Advance Directives, you can go to the State of Colorado's website and read the State law on Advance Directives. This link is for information purposes only. It is not intended to give legal advice or suggest what you should do.
Creating a Mental Health Crisis Plan
Colorado does not have a law about mental health advance directives. If you have on-going mental health problems, it is a good idea to have a crisis plan. A crisis plan will help you have more control over decisions if you have a mental health crisis. Talk with your mental health provider or Care Coordinator about writing a crisis plan.