Starting the conversation that matters.
Helping you understand the different forms.
What is an Advance Directive? An Advance Directive is a legal document, allowing you to declare your wishes concerning end-of-life care and medical treatments. If you are unable to make medical decisions for yourself due to terminal illness or permanent unconsciousness, you can appoint someone you trust to be your healthcare agent. An Advance Directive becomes legally valid as soon as you sign it, and it remains in effect until you change it. If you don’t know how to start the conversation about Advance Directives, we can provide you the support and information you need to begin this important process.
What is a Living Will? A Living Will is one form of an Advance Directive. You have the right to make decisions about your end-of-life care; therefore, this document specifies your detailed preferences for life-sustaining treatment and must be honored by your doctor. It is advised that you have a thoughtful conversation about your wishes, values and beliefs with loved ones prior to completed a Living Will.
What is a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare (DPOA)? A DPOA for healthcare is another form of Advance Directive. Differing from a general Power of Attorney, this document remains in effect even if you become incapacitated. Whoever you designate as your healthcare agent, will be responsible for communicating your end-of-life wishes and ensuring your desires are carried out.
What is a Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)? A POLST form is recommended for anyone that is seriously ill or frail and its purpose is to provide medical orders to emergency personnel, based on your current medical situation.
We want to provide you with the best service possible with advance care planning. If you would like advice on how to complete your Advance Directive, please call the Health Resource Center at Island Hospital. We are also happy to provide you with a free copy of Advance Directive and Physicians Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment forms. Call (360) 299-1342 for more information.