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Advance Directives Information Sheet - Communications Toolkit 

Advance care planning is one of the most important ways to honor an individual’s wishes.* The goal of advance care planning is to promote high-quality personalized care in the future event of a serious injury or illness. Advance directives are a record of advance care planning conversations with family, friends, health care practitioners, an attorney, or religious advisor.

American Academy of Family Physicians, Advance Care Planning: How to Have the Conversation You Want with Your Patients, November 2019. Available at:

This Communications Toolkit can help you inform Marylanders about the benefits of advance care planning and encourage them to explore options for documenting and sharing their treatment preferences in an advance directive.


State law requires the Maryland Health Care Commission (MHCC) to coordinate the accessibility of electronic advance care planning documents in the State. In cooperation with the Maryland Department of Health and the Maryland Attorney General, MHCC developed an Advance Directives Information Sheet highlighting the importance of advance care planning and options for consumers to document their medical preferences and health care agent information (See Maryland Health General § 5-615 for required content).

There are two versions of the Advance Directives Information Sheet – options 1 and 2 include the same content, just presented in slightly different formats. Both versions are available in color and black and white. See links that follow:

Option 1 (color)
Option 1 (black & white)
Option 2 (color)
Option 2 (black & white)
Note: The Advance Directives Information Sheet is in the public domain and may be copied and distributed without permission. For version control purposes, please link to MHCC URLs for the Advance Directives Information Sheet rather than uploading it as a PDF to your website. This will prevent needing to monitor if updates are made to the Advance Directives Information Sheet.  

What You Can Do, Starting Today!

The Advance Directives Information Sheet can help you promote advance care planning and pathways for Marylanders to create, share, and update their advance directive and health care agent information. Please consider the following:

  • Link to the Advance Directives Information Sheet on your organizational website 
  • Promote advance care planning and share a link to the Advance Directives Information Sheet on social media, an online newsletter, or email campaign (see examples below) 
  • Print and distribute the Advance Directives Information Sheet to patients and caregivers, clients, employees, etc. 
  • Display printed copies of the Advance Directives Information Sheet in high traffic areas like waiting rooms, elevators, dining areas, and other locations 


For your convenience, the following language, photos, and resources may be used in your communications. If your organization is interested in MHCC drafting additional content (e.g., blog posts, newsletter articles), please contact Kelly Scott at


Everyone over the age of 18 should think about their values and treatment preferences to guide future medical decisions about their care. This includes appointing a health care agent. Start the conversation with loved ones and treating providers – open, honest, and proactive advance care planning conversations that occur before hospitalization or serious illness help ensure you get the care you want. Refer to the Maryland Health Care Commission’s Advance Directives Information Sheet to learn more about the value of advance care planning and options for documenting personal treatment preferences in an electronic advance directive.

Downloadable Images
Click on the images below to download .png

Featured Image

Option 1

Option 2


Suggested messaging is provided in the sample posts below.  Click on the images to download.png files.  Please consider using the following hashtag when sharing the Advance Directives Information Sheet with your network on social media platforms: #YourLifeYourDecisions 

Other related hashtags: #AdvanceDirectives #AdvanceCarePlanning #PlanningAhead #Palliative #Conversation #Caregiver #Caregiving #HealthCareAgent 


A medical crisis can happen at any age, which is why everyone over 18 is encouraged to plan ahead and think about what treatment they would or wouldn’t want before a medical crisis occurs. Learn more about advance care planning and how to document your medical treatment preferences at:



Is your advance directive locked away in a file cabinet?  When was the last time it was reviewed and updated?  Electronic advance directives can be updated and shared with treating health care providers.  Learn more at:



Who do you trust to help you plan for unforeseen situations that could result in serious injury or illness?  A health care agent can speak on your behalf if you’re unable to make decisions about your health care.  Learn more about advance care planning, including how to appoint a health care agent at:



Are you providing care for a family member, friend, or client?  Help them plan ahead by documenting their treatment preferences in an advance directive at:


Public Service Announcement

Consider sharing the following message from Kurt Schmoke, President of the University of Baltimore and former mayor of Baltimore City, about the value of advance care planning.

Last Updated: 7/25/2023