Alaska Advance Directives
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Alaska has restrictions that some other states do not. It is important to discuss all of these restrictions with a lawyer when creating your Advance Directive if you live in Alaska, or it is possible you'll receive medical attention in that state. Be aware that unless you have a specific and separate legal order against it, ambulance personnel and EMTs are required to give CPR to patients en route to the hospital. A normal Advance Directive will not prevent them from performing these life-saving treatments. Alaska can recognize out of state hospital DNR (do not resuscitate) orders – not ambulance DNRs – but you must make sure your paperwork is in order. Also note that unless these documents are created by an adult 18 years or older with proven competency, the Advance Directive will not be legally recognized. You should also be aware that no matter what your Advance Directive states, doctors in Alaska cannot withhold life-sustaining treatment for a pregnant woman the fetus could develop to the point of viable, live birth.
If you are creating it in Alaska, your Advance Directive can be either oral (verbal) or written. Unlike in other states, no witness signatures are required for the document to be legal, but you may wish to have witness signatures anyway. It is also possible in Alaska for a proxy to sign the document for you, but in this case witnesses are required to ensure the document accurately represents your true wishes. These witnesses cannot be under 18 years of age or related to you either by blood or marriage. An Alaskan Advance Directive lets you name both a Durable Power of Attorney and an alternate. This person is someone you trust to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to. It is important to note that in Alaska, Durable Power of Attorney cannot be given to anyone – owner, operator, employee, etc. - of the healthcare facility where you are receiving care. Just as an instructed proxy can sign your Advance Directive to legalize it, either you or one of your witnesses can revoke the document by informing your doctor that it is revoked. The doctor will make a note of this in your medical record.