Advance care planning and health care proxies
Information from A guide for a Better Ending, a Program of the Central Massachusetts Partnership to Improve Care at the End of Life.
Imagine that without warning, you have a life-threatening illness. You are unable to communicate with your loved ones, and you are not expected to recover. What if you are unable to communicate your wishes? Your choices about care at the end of life may be very different from the choices of others, different even from members of your own family.
To ensure your wishes are followed you need to spend some thoughtful time, before a medical emergency occurs, discussing your values, your beliefs and your choices for medical treatment if you become seriously ill. A guide for a Better Ending from the Central Massachusetts Partnership to Improve Care at the End of Life will help you to think through these important issues and guide you through the decision process.
Read A guide for a Better Ending
Health care proxy forms and personal wishes statements
A personal wishes statement is a document on which you can record your personal wishes for medical care if you become seriously ill.
A health care proxy form is the legal document in Massachusetts which allows you, if you are 18 years or older, to appoint, in advance, a person you trust to make medical decisions on your behalf for you if you are unable to do so yourself.
If you are ready to complete a personal wishes statement and/or a health care proxy form, you may download the forms below. You can find directions for completing the forms in A guide for a Better Ending .
Download Personal Wishes Statement
Download Health Care Proxy Form