Advance Health Care Directives
Talking About Advance Care Planning
The California Coalition of Compassionate Care encourages you to talk to your loved ones about what their wishes for medical care would be if they were to become seriously ill. The resources listed below can assist you in having these important conversations.
While the Guide was developed to help an adult talk with his/her mother about her wishes for future medical care, it can be used as guide to talk with any loved one. It includes suggestions on how to raise the issue, responses to concerns your loved one might express, and questions to ask.
Links to Additional Resources
- Finding Your Way: A Guide for Medical Decisions Near the End of Life
- For those who are starting the advance care planning process or considering whether to initiate or withdraw life sustaining treatment.
- Go Wish Cards
- An easy, entertaining way to think and talk about what's important to you if you become seriously ill.
- Mrs. Lee's Story
- An introduction to end-of-life issues that concern Chinese elders and their families. In Chinese and English
- Decisions Articles
- A free six-part series of short articles about making decisions at the end of life. Also available in Spanish.
- Talking It Over Discussion Guide
- Designed for lay discussion leaders, the guide provides the format and exercises for three sessions that give people ideas for thinking and talking about their wishes. Also available in Spanish and Tagalog.
Advance Health Care Directives Factsheets
An advance health care directive lets your physician, family and friends know your health care preferences, including the types of treatment you want or don't want at the end of life. By completing an advance health care directive, you can help ensure your wishes are followed and avoid having your family make critical medical care decisions for you under stress.
Information for Health Care Professionals
- Determining the Appropriate Decision-Maker [PDF]
- Guide for Assessing Medical Decision-Making Capacity [PDF]
- Health Care Decisions Law Fact Sheet for Professionals [PDF]
POLST – Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment
POLST, a physician’s order that outlines a plan of care reflecting the patient’s wishes concerning care at life’s end, complements an Advance Healthcare Directive. To learn more about POLST, visit capolst.org.
Advance Health Care Directive Forms
A variety of forms are available that enable you to write down your wishes for end-of-life care and to select a surrogate decision-maker.
Basic advance directive form
Simple language and graphics make this Advance Directive very easy to use. English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese. Free.
An advance directive workbook and DVD developed by and for people with developmental disabilities. English, Spanish, and Chinese. Free.
A user-friendly advance directive that addresses medical, personal, emotional and spiritual wishes of seriously ill people. Available in 20 languages. $5 per copy.
English or Spanish. $5.00 per kit.
Free, state-specific Advance Directive forms that can be downloaded.