Advanced Directive FAQ’s

What is an advance directive?

“Advance directive” is a term that refers to your spoken and written instructions about your future medical care and treatment. By stating your health care choices in an advance directive, you help your family and physician understand your wishes about your medical care.

Are advance directives required?

Advance directives are not required. Your physician or hospital cannot require you to make an advance directive if you do not want one. No one may discriminate against you if you do not sign one. Physicians and hospitals often encourage patients to complete advance directive documents.

What happens if you do not have an advance directive?

If you do not have an advance directive and are unable to choose medical care or treatment, Indiana law decides who can do this for you. Indiana law allows any member of your immediate family (meaning your spouse, parent, adult child, brother, or sister) or a person appointed by a court to make the choice for you. If you cannot communicate and do not have an advance directive, your physician will try to contact a member of your immediate family. Your health care choices will be made by the family member that your physician is able to contact.

What are the different types of advance directives?

  • Talking directly to your physician and family
  • Organ and tissue donation
  • Health care representative
  • Living Will Declaration or Life-Prolonging Procedures Declaration
  • Psychiatric advance directives
  •  Out of Hospital Do Not Resuscitate Declaration and Order
  • Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST)
  • Power of Attorney

Where can I find advance directive forms?

Indiana law specifies four specific advance directive forms.  The following are those forms:

(PDF | Word) Life Prolonging Procedures Declaration

(PDF | Word) Living Will Declaration

(PDF | Word) Living Will Declaration (Spanish)

(PDF) Out-of-hospital Do Not Resuscitate Declaration and Order

(PDF | Word) Physicians Order for Scope of Treatment (POST)

(PDF | Word) Physicians Order for Scope of Treatment (POST) (Spanish)

Where can I find additional information?

For additional information on advance directives, visit the Indiana State Department of Health Advanced Directives Resource Center located at www.in.gov/isdh/25880.htm.

These questions and answers are taken from the Indiana State Department of Health Advance Directive Resource Center