Advance Directives:  Do You Have One?
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A way to show you care
is to in advance prepare -
your healthcare wishes give
through an advance directive.

Advance Directives:  Do You Have One?


What is an Advance Directive?
An advance directive explains the specific healthcare measures a person wants if that person has a terminal illness or injury.  An advance directive indicates whether to continue curative and life-sustaining treatment or to remove life support systems.

How can one make an Advance Directive?
A person must create the Advance Directive when that person is able to express his or her own desires regarding healthcare.  The Advance Directive must be signed before 2 witnesses who are not related by blood or marriage, nor entitled to a portion of the person's estate.  The person's attending physician, attorney-in-fact, and healthcare or residential staff may not serve as witnesses.  (See Advance Directive topic pages).

History of Advance Directive Laws:
Advance Directives and Living Will laws were designed to correct the legal problem in which state law required that a person be kept alive, even while that person was in a persistent vegetative state.  In early 1990, the cases of Karen Quinlan (NJ Supreme Court) and Nancy Cruzan (US Supreme Court) came before the Courts.  In the Nancy Cruzan case, the US Supreme Court upheld the rights of individuals to prepare healthcare proxies and living wills.  The Court gave the documents their intended legal effect, i.e. to control future healthcare decisions, in advance.  In 1991, Congress passed the 1991 Patient Self Determination Act.  By 1992, all 50 states and DC had passed laws to legalize some sort of Advance Directive.  In 1989, Oregon essentially abolished the Living Will and Directive to Physician forms that were in use at the time and created the Advance Directive form to replace them (See ORS 127.505-127.660 and ORS 127.995).

Why Have an Advance Directive?
1 out of 5 people in the U.S. have no Advance Directive that would allow them to dictate most of their future healthcare choices, like dying at home, surrounded by family.  It appears that the majority of Americans want a good death, which they describe as "quick, painless, at home and surrounded by family."  Today, 85% of Americans die in a healthcare setting, like a hospital or nursing home.  At least 12% die in an intensive care unit generally surrounded by healthcare staff that they have just met.  (See

Where Can I Get the Advance Directive Form?
Forms are free and available online, at hospitals, doctors' offices, and Cooke's Stationery downtown Salem, for a small fee.

If my office prepares a will or trust for you, we will create an Advance Directive for you at no additional charge. 

Call me today (503) 363-7334 to discuss how you can obtain an Advance Directive.

George Price - Estate Planning & Probate
Previous Newsletters
DCBS/ Oregon Insurance Division/ Advance Directives
Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 127
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Salem, OR 97301

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George Price



317 Court Street NE
Suite 203
Salem, OR 97301

Phone (503) 363-7334
Fax (503) 581-2260