A Healthcare Directive, also known as Living Will or Advance Directive (AD), is a written document that tells others what actions should be taken for your health if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Healthcare Directive may be combined with a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPAHC). DPAHC, also known as a Health Care Proxy or Healthcare Power of Attorney, is a legal document authorizing another person (called a “healthcare agent”) to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Guides and fillable short and long Health Care Directive/DPAHC forms are available for download here.
Please note that a Health Care Directive does not cover end-of-life emergency treatment.
In an emergency, EMS and other health care professionals cannot follow wishes outlined in a health care directive – the default standard of care in an emergency is to attempt everything possible to save or prolong the patient’s life.
If you wish to limit end-of-life treatment (for example many patients choose comfort-only options) you will need a POLST form.