Advance Directives

An advance directive is used to tell your doctor and family what kind of medical care you want if you are too sick or hurt to talk or make decisions. If you do not have one, certain members of your family will have to decide on your care. This section of the site includes answers to advance directive questions, an advance directive form and a copy of the state’s law on advance directives

Alabama law says you have the right to decide about your medical care, but if you are very sick or badly hurt, you may not be able to say what medical care you want.

Video Links:
Five-minute video overview of advance directives
Video to guide physicians in discussing advance directives with patients.

Click the links below for more resources:

Advance Directive Form (English)
Advance Directive Form (en Espanol)

Advance Directive Brochure (duplicate as needed)

Advance Directive Brochure (en Espanol)

Brochure with Advance Directive Form

Common Questions & Answers

Summary of the Law

Do not Attempt Resuscitation Orders

These are orders written by the physician, after consent by the patient or someone legally allowed to speak for the patient, stating the patient should not be resuscitated if he experiences cardiopulmonary cessation (heart stops beating and no breathing).  Click to view the Alabama law covering DNAR orders, as well as surrogate decision makers.

Portable DNAR Frequently Asked Questions

Presentation on portable DNARs


Alabama’s Advance Directive Law
Sections 22-8A-1 through 22-8A-13, Code of Alabama 1975

Section 22-8A-1 Short title.
Section 22-8A-2 Legislative intent.
Section 22-8A-3 Definitions.
Section 22-8A-4 Advance Directive for Health Care; living will and health care proxy.
Section 22-8A-4.1 Validity of DNAR orders; adoption of rules.
Section 22-8A-5 Revocation of advance directive for health care.
Section 22-8A-6 Proxy to comply with instructions, intent of patient.
Section 22-8A-7 Competency of declarant; liability of participating physician, facility, etc.
Section 22-8A-8 Refusal of health care provider to comply; penalties.
Section 22-8A-9 Withholding or withdrawal of treatment, etc., not suicide; execution of advance directive not to affect sale, etc., of life or health insurance nor be condition for receipt of treatment, etc.; provisions of chapter cumulative.
Section 22-8A-10 Provisions of chapter not an approval of mercy killing, etc.
Section 22-8A-11 Surrogate; requirements; attending physician consulted, intent of patient followed; persons who may serve as surrogate; priority; validity of decisions; liability; form; declaratory and injunctive relief; penalties.
Section 22-8A-12 Validity of advance health care directive executed in another state.
Section 22-8A-13 Effect of prior declarations.
Section 22-8A-14 Filing and recording of living will; fee; inspection; duty of declarant to provide copy to health care providers.

For more information:, (800) 243-5463 , (800) 989-9455
Alabama State Bar, (800) 354-6154 (Click here for brochure.)
National Institute on Aging (HHS)