Protections for same-sex couples
Regardless of age or health status, none of us knows when a future event might leave us unable to speak for ourselves. Talking with your loved ones now, appointing a representative and preparing a written record of your wishes will be invaluable should you become unable to make or communicate health care decisions.
The LGBT community faces additional challenges at the end of life. Yet few in this community have advance directives or understand the potential need for a Hospital Visitation Authorization. Until recently, the partners of LGBT patients were routinely not allowed to participate in the medical treatment of their loved ones or even to visit them in the hospital.
Compassion & Choices' Good to Go Toolkit and Resource Guide are designed to help you identify your priorities and help ensure your wishes are honored. This collection of material is designed to guide the process of making and communicating your decisions.
Good to Go Resource Guide»
A 16-page introduction to end-of-life planning with ideas, inspiration, information and answers.
Good to Go Toolkit»
The Good to Go Toolkit includes worksheets, forms and more, along with helpful instructions for filling out these forms.
You may also have your Resource Guide and Toolkit mailed for a postage and handling fee of $5 (free for members and donors), please call us at 800.247.7421 to order yours.
State Specific Advance Directive/Living Will »
Living wills/advance directives are actually a set of documents - a living will/advance directive and a medical durable power of attorney. Advance Directives are state-specific and are not included in the Good to Go Toolkit.
Download your state-approved advanced directive and tips for completing the forms here.
In addition to an advance directive, you may choose to download and complete one or more of the below forms by clicking on the below links.
Sectarian Health Care Directive>>
The language in this addendum clarifies that admission to a religiously-affiliated facility does not imply consent to particular care mandated by the institution’s religious policies, and directs a transfer if the facility declines to follow the wishes outlined in an advance directive.
This worksheet includes questions you may want to consider as you make decisions and prepare documents concerning your healthcare preferences.
Includes language that can be added to any Advance Directive or Living Will to advise physicians and family of the wishes of a patient with Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of dementia.
My Particular Wishes»
This form is meant to inform your physician, nurse or other care provider of your consent or refusal of certain specific therapies.
Hospital Visitation Form»
It is vital to prepare by designating a surrogate decision-maker and filling out hospital permissions. This is especially important for LGBT partners, who may not have full marriage equality.
A Letter To My Doctor»
Find out if your Doctor will respect your end-of-life wishes now - before it is too late.
Who. What. Where.
Already have your documents in order? You have taken the first step, answering the WHAT. You still need to make sure you have spoken to your agent and loved ones about your wishes, WHO. The final step is the WHERE. Make sure copies of your advance directive are in the right places: with your agent, in your home or obvious place for your agent or loved one to find it, and with your doctor.
Documents Protecting Financial Assets
Power of attorney
Last will and testament
Talk to your partner, family (immediate and self-identified) and your primary care physician aboutyour decisions. Give them copies of all of your documents. Tell your primary care physician to make them part of your medical record. Made clear to other family members that the healthcare agent named in your durable power of attorney (who may or may not be your partner) is the person you have chosen to make your healthcare decisons, if you should be unable to do so.
Additionally, if you can complete your own paperwork upon entering a medical facility, list your partner or loved one as "next of kin" or as the "emergency contact". Provide a copy of your Living Will and your hospital permission as well.
Varying degrees of legal partnership and marital status exist in the States for LGBTQ. Careful end-of-life planning will help ensure that patients know and understand all end-of-life care options and wishes. Lambda Legal has a comprehensive, state-by-state listing of the nationwide status for same-sex couples.
Compassion & Choices creates an atmosphere free from judgment where everyone can talk about, and come to terms with, the difficult issues surrounding death and dying. Unlike most end-of-life organizations, we are not a religious organization; nor do we promote one ethical or belief system. We honor all people as individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, race, or any other category. Call 1-800-247-7421 to find out more about planning for the future