An advance health care directive allows you to appoint a healthcare agent to make healthcare decisions for you, should you lose capacity. After completing an advance health care directive, you can register it with the Secretary of State, which makes the informa- tion contained within the health care directive more readily available to your healthcare providers. This is completely voluntary, but by doing so, you are making sure medical professionals will receive necessary information if you are unable to provide the information yourself. Upon registering your health care directive, you will receive a card that you can put in your wallet indicat- ing that it has been registered. The card will contain instructions that emergency personnel can follow in order to obtain pertinent information regarding your care.
You can register your advance health care directive by filling out the form found on the Secretary of State’s website: www.sos.ca.gov/ahcdr. There is a $10 fee for registering. The completed form and a $10 check should be mailed to: Secretary of State, Advance Health Care Directive Registry, P.O. Box 942877, Sacramento, CA 94277-0001.
Registering your advance health care directive does not make your personal information public. The only people who are authorized to access this information are you, any agent you have designated in your health care directive, your healthcare providers, and your guardian or conservator.