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An Advance Health Directive is a way for a person to 1) name someone to be their "agent(s)" who will make medical decisions for them if something happened and they couldn't make their own decisions and 2) put in writing what they would want should they come to the possible end of their life. The person(s) you name as your agent should know you well, be willing to follow your wishes and feel somewhat comfortable in a hospital setting.
Are there options for advance health care planning?
Here at Stanford, there are several options:
There is an Advance Health Care Directive form which will remain legal for the rest of your life or until you decide to change it. The form will be scanned into your chart and available to your doctor(s). This form requires two witnesses or a notary to make it a legal document.
There is an Advance Health Care Planning Information sheet on which you can write information about whether or not you want to make an Advance Directive or that you already have one. Once signed, this form will be good for sixty days or the length of your hospitalization, whichever comes first. The form will be scanned into your chart and available to your doctor(s).
"What Matters Most" is a letter you can write to your doctor about what you'd like at the end of your life and who you'd like making decisions for you. The letter will be scanned into your chart and available to your doctor(s).
A "POLST" (Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) is a form that someone with a chronic disease or in an end of life situation might want to fill out with their doctor to say what they would want or not want in an emergency.
"Five Wishes" is another form which allows you to choose "agent(s)" and offers options that you may select or delete depending upon your preferences at the end of your life.
ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE
To request an advance health care directive form or information sheet, please call Spiritual Care Service 650-723-5101 or click on the link below.