3 – Review/Execute Healthcare Legal Forms

These tasks are not just for ensuring your wishes are carried out
when you can’t speak for yourself medically. Advanced directives
help your family attend to their pain, heal hurt or broken
relationships, care for your spiritual needs and ultimately say goodbye.


Advanced Health Care Directive
  • Who will be your Health Care Representative?
  • Have you completed the Health Care Instructions
    aka Living Will?
Be certain health care instructions are readily accessible in the time of crisis
If you have a Portable Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST):
  • File your POLST with the State
  • Place it in a red envelope for visibility during times of emergency
  • Talk to personal healthcare representative (and your family) about your health care choices
Consider executing an Organ Donor Form



My Health Care Wishes by Charles P. Sabatino, J.D., American Bar Association
Available from the Google Play and Apple App at a cost of $3.909, My Health Care Wishes is a smartphone app that gives you and your family members the ability to store your own and each other’s health care advance directives, key health information, and health care contacts on your Apple or Android smartphones, and to send advance directive documents and other key information directly to health care providers by email or Bluetooth.


The Conversation Projecttheconversationproject.org
A multimedia website focused on helping people talk to loved ones and doctors about desires for end-of-life care.

Five Wishesfivewishes.org
This very simply written advance directive helps record personal, spiritual, and emotional wishes for the end of life as well as medical ones. Five Wishes has been translated into many languages.


Making Medical Decisions for Someone Else: A How-To Guide by The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging
This free publication available at www.americanbar.org describes in simple terms what it’s like to be a health care proxy, what to do while there’s still time to think about it, how to make the hard decisions, and where to get help.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande, M.D., M.P.H.
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, and Chicago Tribune. When it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should. Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Gawande reveals the suffering this dynamic has produced. Nursing homes, devoted above all to safety, battle with residents over the food they are allowed to eat and the choices they are allowed to make. Doctors, uncomfortable discussing patients’ anxieties about death, fall back on false hopes and treatments that are actually shortening lives instead of improving them.

The Conversation: A Revolutionary Plan for End-of-Life Care by Angelo E. Volandes, M.D. (Bloomsbury, 2016)
Two thirds of Americans die in healthcare institutions, tethered to machines and tubes at bankrupting costs, even though research shows that most prefer to die at home in comfort, surrounded by loved ones. Through the stories of seven patients and seven very different end-of-life experiences, the author demonstrates that what people with a serious illness, who are approaching the end of their lives, need most is not new technologies but one simple thing: The Conversation. He argues for a radical re-envisioning of the patient-doctor relationship and offers ways for patients and their families to talk about this difficult issue to ensure that patients will be at the center and in charge of their medical care.

Handbook for Mortals: Guidance for People Facing Serious Illness by Joanne Lynn, M.D., Joan Harrold, M.D., and Janice Lynch Schuster
Written by a team of experts, this book provides equal measures of practical information and wise counsel to all those who wish to approach the final years of life with greater awareness of what to expect and greater confidence about how to make the end of their lives a time of growth, comfort, and meaningful reflection.

Jane Brody’s Guide to the Great Beyond: A Practical Primer to Help You and Your Loved Ones Prepare Medically, Legally and Emotionally for the End of Life by Jane Brody
A long-time health columnist for The New York Times, the author presents an invaluable road map to putting your affairs in order–or helping your loved ones do the same–this comprehensive book will answer every question you might have about what does and does not help smooth the transition between life and the Great Beyond. Wise, practical, and characteristically straightforward throughout.