The information for this section is from a Legal Rights Service (LRS) publication. This publication tells you about advance directives: what they are, what they look like, how to make them, how to use them, how to change them and cancel them.

Advance directives are documents which state your instructions today about your health care for the future, in case you become unable to speak for yourself at the time you need treatment. You can state your instructions about the kinds of treatment you want and do not want, who may provide you treatment and who may not, and where you will and will not receive treatment.

Ohio law allows you to use different kinds of documents to state your instructions about your health care. There are important differences between these documents. The durable power of attorney for health care can state your instructions about medical treatment or mental health treatment or both. The declaration for mental health treatment can state your instructions for mental health treatment. You may have both of these documents stating your instructions about mental health treatment, but the declaration for mental health treatment controls.

The most important difference between these two documents is that the durable power of attorney for health care is always "revocable:" you may change or cancel your instructions at any time. The declaration for mental health treatment is not always "revocable:" if you become unable to make your own decisions because of a mental illness, you will be bound by the instructions for treatment that you gave when you created the document.

This publication sites a number of section of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC), which is available free online from LAWriter Ohio Laws and Rules - Ohio Revised Code.


Download the PDF version of Advance Directives

After reading this publication, we recommend that you download The What-if? Workbook (PDF file). This workbook was designed to be used with the "Advance Directives for Mental Health Treatment in Ohio" booklet.

A publication of the Legal Rights Service (LRS)
Publication date February 2006

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