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Advance Directive

An advanced directive is a written, signed document in which you list your healthcare wishes, should you later become unable to do so. In the state of Indiana you may make your wishes known through the following methods:

  • Talking directly to your physician and family is one of the most   important things you can do. Even if you have a written advance directive, talking about your wishes provides everyone a clear understanding of your requests.
  • A Living Will generally states that life-prolonging treatments may be withheld or withdrawn from a patient who is certified to be terminally ill. If death is imminent, however, care necessary to provide comfort and dignity will be provided.
  • A Life Prolonging Procedures Declaration generally states all life-prolonging procedures that will be used to prolong the dying process of a patient who is terminally ill.
  • A Health Care Representative names a specific person as your representative to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself.
  • A Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care allows an individual to give another person, called an attorney in-fact, the authority to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to make them for yourself. This includes not only medical decisions, but also for making anatomical gifts, requesting autopsy, and making funeral arrangements. It is exclusively for healthcare decisions and does not extend to decisions for financial matters.
  • POST – Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment: A very specific form that clarifies and documents the patient's treatment preferences near end of life. It is designed for those with advanced chronic progressive illness, frailty, injury, disease or illness from which, there can be no recovery and the patient is unable or unlikely to benefit from CPR.
  • An Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Declaration and Order is used to state your wishes when an emergency occurs at home or outside of a health facility and there is no medical chart or physician's order. The law allows a qualified person to say they do not want CPR given if their heart or lungs stop working.
  • Increasing the quality of life for another person is the ultimate gift. Donating your organs is a way to help others. An Organ and Tissue Donation Form may be used to express your wishes and signing a donation form is an important first step.

You may make a Psychiatric Advance Directive if you have legal capacity. The directive sets forth the care and treatment of a mental illness during periods of incapacity.