The directive to physicians is a difficult document to sign for many people because it specifies your wishes regarding life-sustaining treatment should be administered, withdrawn or withheld artificial if you are diagnosed with a terminal or irreversible condition and are unable to make your own health care decisions.
Because the decision is so difficult to make, many people find comfort in the fact that the Directive to Physicians can be revoked at any time, even if you are final stages of a terminal illness, regardless of your mental state or competency, so long as you are capable of communicating your wishes.
A directive can be revoked by:
- Destroying the directive;
- Signing a written revocation; or
- Orally stating that you wish to revoke the directive.
If you revoke your directive, it is very important that you tell your attending physician that you have done so.
The Rules specify that a written or oral revocation takes effect only when you or someone acting on your behalf notifies the attending physician that the directive has been revoked. When this happens, the attending physician will record in the patient’s medical records the date and time when he or she received notice of the revocation and will enter the word “VOID” on each page of the copy of the directive in the patient’s medical record.