What Are Advanced Directives?

advanced directive

Two types of Advanced Directives are:

Living Will: A Living Will is a legal document in which you state the kind of health care you want or don’t want under certain circumstances.

Medical Durable Power Of Attorney: A Medical Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you name someone close to make decisions about your health care in the event you become incapacitated.

What are the benefits of Advance Directives?

Peace of Mind – Namely, peace of mind, knowing that your choices are secure and will be available to your family and doctors even if you become incapacitated or ill away from home.

Serenity – The serenity of knowing that you will be able to “speak” to your family and doctors through your advance directive about your personal philosophy and help them make decisions you want without them feeling guilt or remorse.

Security – When you register your advance directive you will have the security of confidential, 24-hour access to your choices by authorized hospitals across America.

THE MEDICAL ORDERS FOR SCOPE OF TREATMENT (MOST) form is a 1-page, 2-sided document that summarizes in check-box style choices for key life-sustaining treatments including CPR, general scope of treatment and artificial nutrition. For each type specify limitations.

The MOST is primarily intended for use by chronically or seriously ill persons facility. It is completed by the patient or authorized decision maker along with a healthcare provider who can explain what each of the choices means for that patient at that time. It is signed by the patient or healthcare agent/Proxy and a physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician’s assistant. When signed, it becomes a medical order set, not an advance directive.

The MOST stays with the patient and is honored in any setting: hospital, clinic, day surgery, long-term care facility, assisted living residence, hospice, or at home. In this way, the MOST closes gaps in communication about treatment choices as patients transfer from setting to setting. The original is brightly colored for easy identification, but photocopies, faxes, and electronic scans are also valid.

The MOST does not replace or revoke advance directives. Choices on the MOST should be consistent with any advance directives the patient previously completed, but the MOST does not cover every treatment or instruction that might be addressed in an MDPOA or Living Will. The choices and directives documented there are still valid. The MOST overrules prior instructions only when there is a direct conflict. A section on the back prompts patients and providers to regularly review, confirm, or update choices based on changing conditions.

For more information about the MOST form or program, please consult a healthcare provider or visit http://coloradoadvancedirectives.com/.

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