Oregon is one of three states that allows persons to prepare a legal
document-and advance directive-to stipulate the mental health treatment
they wish to receive should they lose their decision-making capacity. An
informal one-page questionnaire on the use of advance directives for mental
health treatment in the state was enclosed in newsletters sent to families
and care providers of persons with severe and persistent mental disorders.
Responses were received from 156 people; they reported that 64 advance
directives had been completed by consumers, 40 surrogate decision makers
had been appointed, and ten consumers had used their advance directives
when in crisis. In each case, the consumer's wishes were honored. The small
response to this preliminary survey suggests the need for further education
about advance directives among mental health care consumers, their
families, and providers.