Advanced Directives

  1. What are advanced directives?
    Formal advanced directives are documents written in advance of serious illness that state your choices for health care, or name someone to make those choices if you become unable to make decisions. Through advance directives, such as living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care, you can make legally valid decisions about your future medical treatment.

  2. What is a living will?
    A living will is a document in which you can stipulate the kind of life-prolonging medical care you want if you become terminally ill, permanently unconscious, or in a vegetative state and unable to make your own decisions.

  3. What is a durable power of attorney for health care?
    A durable power of attorney for health care is another kind of advance directive: a signed, dated, and witnessed document naming another person to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself at any time, not just at the end of life.

  4. Where can I get a living will and health care power of attorney forms?
    You may download a form HERE from Brookings Health System. Other sources include:

Caring Connections
National Hospice & Palliative Care Organization
1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 625
Alexandria, VA 22314
1-800-658-8898
http://www.caringinfo.org

American Hospital Association
http://www.putitinwriting.org

Aging with Dignity
http://www.agingwithdignity.org