Oregon Advance Directive
An Advance Directive, sometimes referred to as a living will, appoints a person to make medical decisions for you if you are not able to make them yourself. It also outlines your wishes for certain medical treatment such as tube feeding and life support at end of life.
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The Health Care Representative
You can appoint someone called a health care representative to make your health care decisions if you are unable to make them yourself. This health care representative can only make your healthcare decisions if you become incapable of making them yourself. Your health care representative must accept the nomination before the nomination is active. You must sign the advance directive, and have it notarized or witnessed by two qualified witnesses.
In addition to appointing a health care representative, the advance directive allows you to state your preferences regarding life support and tube feeding under certain circumstances.
Who can serve as a health care representative?
Your health care representative can be any person you want so long as they are an adult and are willing to serve as your representative and follow your stated preferences. People who cannot serve as your health care representative include your attending physician and their employees, the employees of a care facility unless that person agreed to act on your behalf before he or she became employed at the facility. The form must include the health care representative’s contact information including their address, phone number(s), and email.
What are the duties of the health care representative?
The health care representative must attempt in good faith to follow your wishes as expressed in the advance directive. Once your representative agrees to serve, he or she cannot ignore the duty to do so. The only way the representative can avoid this duty is to resign altogether from serving as the representative. You should list one or two alternative representatives in case your first choice is unable to serve or resigns.
The health care representative cannot overrule your decision to a change of care even if it conflicts with the advance directive — regardless of whether the person is legally capable of making that decision. The representative does, however, have the power to allow the person to be admitted to a hospital for up to 18 days in order to get treatment for dangerous behavior that is caused by dementia, even if the person objects.