Advance directives

Members aged 18 years or older and of sound mind have the right to execute advance directives concerning medical treatment and mental health care. Primary care physicians must document in the member's medical record whether or not the member has completed an advance directive.

A member who has executed an advance directive may revoke the directive at any time, either orally or in writing.

Providers may not condition the provision of care or discriminate against an individual based on whether the individual has executed any advance directives.

Documentation of any advance directives, changes, or revocations must be placed in a prominent part of a member's medical record. The record should indicate whether or not a member has executed an advance directive and document any information about advance directives that was made available to the member.

Providers, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and inpatient psychiatric facilities must be prepared for a member or the member's appointed representative to participate in care or treatment decisions when the member is incapacitated and unable to do so, and to request withholding of resuscitative services or declining or withdrawing life-sustaining treatment.

Members can learn more about advance directives in the Health & Wellness Resources section of the Kaiser Permanente member website or request information from the Kaiser Permanente Resource Line. We also offer "Your Life, Your Choices," a class for helping members make informed decisions about their end-of-life care.

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