Living Will. DNR. Advance Directive. POLST.
You know these forms are important. But are they the same? Do you need all of them? What are they for? And when would you need them?
Forms are location specific. Do an online search for "[where you live] and [name of form]" or ask your lawyer to get the right version for you.
Recap of summary:
- Everyone over the age of 18 should specify their wishes and designate a health care proxy, ideally with an Advance Directive or Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney
- If you’re close to the end of life or frail and the risk of complications from resuscitation would not be worth it, that’s when you want a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order
- If you’re close to the end of life and don’t want to artificially extend your life and you want to be sure that your wishes are honored (and it’s available in your area), get a Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)