The goal of advanced care planning is to help medical professionals and loved ones understand the type of care consistent with your wishes and goals. Advanced care planning is an ongoing process that may change at every life transition. It is important to have an open discussion about your wishes with friends, families, and your medical team.
Planning can start at any stage of life or diagnosis. Planning can relieve stress on you and your family members as it can reduce confusion and disagreements.
Health Care Directive: This is more commonly known as a living will, it is a legal document that states your general wishes for end of life care. This document should specify the life-sustaining treatments you may or may not want. This document allows your wishes to honored when you are unable to speak for yourself.
Durable Medical Power of Attorney: This also can be referred to as a health care representative or health care proxy, or health care agent. This is a legal document that allows someone that is appointed by you to make medical decisions when you are unable to. You can name a primary and alternative agent to direct your healthcare wishes. It is important that whoever you choose understands your wishes and is able to act upon them.
Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST): This specific form is intended for individuals with a serious health condition. POLST is for emergency medical decisions. POLST is usually sought out by paramedics/first responders and emergency department professionals so they are able to act upon your wishes in an emergency. This form needs to be signed by the maker and health care provider.
You can reach out to the Oncology Social Worker 503-338-4589 for assistance in filling out these forms.