Do you have an advanced directive? Do you know why you might want one?
Here is a story about a PA hospice planning an outreach to the community:
And here is an informative excerpt from the National Healthcare Decisions Day website. The links don't copy over, so please visit http://www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org/resources.htm directly.
What is an advance directive?
All adults can benefit from thinking about what their healthcare choices would be if they are unable to speak for themselves. These decisions can be written down in an advance directive so that others know what they are. Advance directives come in two main forms:
•A "healthcare power of attorney" (or "proxy" or "agent" or "surrogate") documents the person you select to be your voice for your healthcare decisions if you cannot speak for yourself.
•A "living will" documents what kinds of medical treatments you would or would not want at the end of life.
How can I learn more about advance directives/advance care planning?
The links below explore a variety of resources to help you make, discuss and document future healthcare wishes and decisions.
•AARP: End-of-Life Planning
•Aging with Dignity: Five Wishes
•American Bar Association: Tool kit for Health Care Advance Planning; 10 Legal Myths about Advance Medical Directive
•American Health Lawyers Association: Guide to Legal Issues in Life Limiting Conditions
•American Hospital Association: Put It In Writing
•Caring Connections: Advance Care Planning; Financial Information; Planning Ahead Checklist; Free Brochures
•Center for Practical Bioethics: Caring Conversations Workbook
Where can I get an advance directive?
Aging With Dignity (Five Wishes)
The Five Wishes document helps individuals express care options and preferences. The advance directive meets the legal requirements in most states and is available in 20 languages for a nominal fee. Order online or call 850.681.2010.
Caring Connections offers free, state-specific advance directives for all 50 states and DC that meet the legal requirements for each state. Download individual copies for free or call 800.658.8898 to have a copy mailed to you.
Center for Practical Bioethics
Caring Conversations is a workbook to help individuals and families communicate with each other about their healthcare preferences and contains advance directive documents. These forms are valid in every state when notarized and signed by two witnesses. Download for free or call 800.344.3829 to order.
Project Grace offers a free Advance Care Planning Document that is legally valid in states that do not require forms to be notarized. Download for free, or call 877.99.GRACE to order a copy.
National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives
National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives offers general and state-specific information on psychiatric advance directives.
The Will to Live Project
The Will to Live Project provides state specific forms for designating an agent and stating healthcare wishes.
International Task Force on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide
The International Task force offers a durable power of attorney document (in either multistate or state-specific versions) that expressly defines and prohibits euthanasia.
Organ Donation Choices: www.organdonor.gov or www.donatelife.net
State-Specific Resources (see http://www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org/resources.htm )