Arizona Advance Directives
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Differences in Advance Directives laws between the states are important to understand. An attorney can help create a directive that will be legal and cover the criteria you wish discussed in Arizona and other states where it is likely you will receive medical attention. One similarity that Arizona has with many states regards pregnant patients. In Arizona, pregnant patients cannot elect to have life-sustaining treatments (such as tube feeding and artificial hydration) withheld despite what directions your Advance Directive might give.
In Arizona, an Advance Directive must be signed in front of one witness who must also sign and date the document affirming that you are of sound mind. This witness cannot be related to you in any way (blood, marriage, or adoption), he cannot be entitled to any part of your estate, and he cannot be either appointed as your health care agent or involved in providing your health care at the time of signing. A good choice of witness for an Advance Directive can be a notary. It must also be signed by your appointed Health Care Proxy and Alternate Health Care Proxy. If you are physically unable to sign the document (but not in a vegetative state), then your Health Care Power of Attorney, your witness, or a public notary may sign for you. They must, however, include a statement as to why you are unable to sign and how you expressed your wishes represented in the directive.
If you wish to revoke the Advance Directive you've created, there are a few ways to do so. First, you can write a revocation and either complete another Advance Directive or not. Second, you can orally (verbally) notify your doctor that you wish to revoke the directive, and it will be taken out of your medical record. Another way is to institute a new Health Care Power of Attorney. Arizona recognizes a wider range of actions as intent to revoke the document, such as physically defacing or destroying it. Check with a professional to make sure you have accurately revoked your Advance Directive.