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:
The links below explore a variety of resources to help you make, discuss and document future healthcare wishes and decisions. 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
Advance Care Planning Day Initiative: Advance Care 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; Loving Conversations (video) on Advance Care Planning
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
Cancer.net: Advanced Cancer Care Planning Workbook
National Association of Social Workers: Advance Care Planning; Psychiatric Advance
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.
Compassion and Choices
Compassion & Choices offers an advance care planning tool kit and state-specific advance directive materials.
Lifecare Advance Directives
The Lifecare Advance Directive website offers free state-standard advance directives for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and four major United States territories (American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands). Research validated comprehensive advance directies, as well as completion guides, agent guides, and other important advance directive support documents are also available.
The MedicAlert Foundation offers emergency medical information and identification services including Do Not Resuscitate medical IDs and option to store advance directives for all 50 states.
National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives
National Resource Center on Psychiatric Advance Directives offers general and state-specific information on psychiatric advance directives.
Organ Donation Choices: http://www.organdonor.gov or http://www.donatelife.net/
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.
The Will to Live Project
The Will to Live Project provides state specific forms for designating an agent and stating healthcare wishes.
The Patients’ Rights Council
The Patients’ Rights Council offers a durable power of attorney document (in either multistate or state-specific versions) that expressly defines and prohibits euthanasia.
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