Primary Goal of this Step
Determine and legally document the medical care and treatments that you do or do not want in the future, and appoint someone to advocate for you at the end of life, when you may not be able to advocate for yourself.
Important Tasks: Create an Advance Health Care Directive
Create a living will
To create a living will, determine the types of medical treatments you want, and the types of treatments you don’t want. Fill out the paperwork with witnesses and get the forms notarized, if necessary.
Name a health care proxy (also known as a health care power of attorney)
To name a health care power of attorney, choose a person to make health care decisions on your behalf should you no longer be able to do so. Fill out the paperwork with witnesses and get the forms notarized, if necessary.
Decide if you want cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) if your heart or breathing should stop
If you do not want CPR or ACLS if your heart or breathing should stop, create a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. Fill out the paperwork with your doctor and get the forms notarized, if necessary.
Make sure the DNR form is with you when you are receiving medical treatments, and displayed prominently in your home in case of an emergency.