Making decisions about medical care is not always easy. Planning ahead can help make difficult situations easier for both patient and family. We support our patients' rights to participate in planning your own medical care, including refusing treatment, if you wish.

Legal documents called advance directives can help to ensure that your wishes are followed in the unfortunate event that you become incapacitated or unable to make decisions or communicate your preferences.
If you have not already done so, we encourage you to discuss this issue with your loved ones and health care provider, and to complete these documents before a critical situation arises.
The state of New Hampshire recognizes two forms of advance directives:
  • A living will instructs your physician or health care provider as to what type of medical treatment you would want if you became permanently unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions regarding your care. Preferences concerning the use of life-sustaining equipment, artificial nutrition and hydration are made in this document.
  • A durable power of attorney for health care is a document in which you name a spouse, family member or another person to act as your "agent," empowering him or her to make medical decisions for you, should you become incapacitated.
Both can be revoked or superseded by new documents at any time.

Free Resources: What if I have more questions?
You should discuss any questions about advance directives with your family and physician. The Medical Center's Patient and Family Services staff may be able to assist you: call (603) 577-2587. We cannot provide you with legal advice. If you have legal questions, you should consult an attorney.