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Advance Directives Forms
You may be in robust health today. An emergency such as a car accident or a stroke could change that in a heartbeat, as could the diagnosis of a severe, life-threatening illness. Aging can also change your health landscape. If you haven't prepared advance directives or chosen a health care proxy, medical choices could be left to worried relatives or to a doctor or guardian appointed by a judge, none of whom may have a clear understanding of your values, beliefs, and preferences.
Advance Care Planning: A guide to advance directives, living wills, and other strategies for communicating health care preferences, helps guide you through the process of establishing advance directives and appointing a health care proxy.
Five key forms that can assist you are a Health Care Power of Attorney, a Health Decisions Worksheet, a Generic Living Will, a Sample POLST form, and an Advance Directives Tracking Sheet. You can download them here:
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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Advance Care Planning
Living wills and health care proxies — documents known as advance care directives — give you a voice in decisions about your medical care at the end of life. Without these documents, choices may be left up to a doctor or a judge — someone who does not know your values, beliefs, or preferences. This Special Health Report, Advance Care Planning: A guide to advance directives, living wills, and other strategies for communicating health care preferences, will help you plan ahead and create legal documents to guide decision makers at this important time.
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