End of Life Planning/ Advance Directives

You are here

End of Life Planning/Advance Directives

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 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.
  • The Indiana POST form is a standardized form containing orders by a treating physician based on a patient's preferences for end-of-life care.

                Advance Directives

Facts

The Federal Patient Self-Determination Act requires that all Medicare-participating healthcare facilities inquire about and provide information to patients on Advance Directives; it also requires these facilities to provide community education on Advance Directives. See 42 C.F.R § 489.102.  All healthcare facilities are required to:

  • Provide information about health care decision-making rights.
  • Ask all patients if they have an advance directive.
  • Educate their staff and community about advance directives.
  • Not discriminate against patients based on an advance directive status.

For more information on Advance Directives/Advance Care Planning Visit:

The links below explore a variety of resources to help you make, discuss and document future healthcare wishes and decisions.