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Advanced Directives

Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to spell out your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. They give you a way to tell your wishes to family, friends, and health care professionals and to avoid confusion later.

An advance directive is a set of instructions someone prepares in advance of ill health that determines his healthcare wishes. For example, a living will is one type of advance directive that becomes effective when a person is terminally ill.

Types of Advance Directives

  1. The living will
  2. Durable power of attorney for health care/Medical power of attorney
  3. POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment)
  4. Do not resuscitate (DNR) orders
  5. Organ and tissue donation

What Happens If I Don’t Make an Advance Directive? 

You will receive medical care regardless of whether or not you have an advance directive. However, there may be a greater chance you will receive the types of care and treatments you want if you have an advance directive.

The Five Wishes

  • Wish 1: The Person I Want to Make Care Decisions for Me When I Can’t.
  • Wish 2: The Kind of Medical Treatment I Want or Don’t Want.
  • Wish 3: How Comfortable I Want to Be.
  • Wish 4: How I Want People to Treat Me.
  • Wish 5: What I Want My Loved Ones to Know.

Helpful resources for advanced directives

The links below help with will planning, Medical Power of Attorney (MPOA), and Financial Power of Attorney (FPOA)