Have The Conversation.
We can’t control everything about our death. But if we communicate effectively, we make it more likely that our wishes for the end of life will be known and respected. Simply completing an advance directive does not ensure it will be respected. Recent studies indicate the single most powerful thing a person can do to improve the chance for gentle dying is --- simply and courageously --- to talk about it.
Effective communication with those who will be called upon to make decisions on our behalf is key to the likelihood that our wishes are carried out. Compassion & Choices offers a Good To Go Resource Guide and many advance planning documents that help you define your priorities, understand who you need to talk with and come up with ideas on how to get the conversation rolling. We've also provided state-specific advance directives free of charge, available for downloading.
It is never too early to get started.
Why is an advance directive important?
Advance directives protect your right to make choices that affect your life. They are a way of letting your loved ones and your physicians know your wishes. Without an advance directive, others will be required make decisions for you which may or may not be what you want.
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 Resource Guide.
Download your state-approved advanced directive in an editable PDF here.
Click here for detailed instructions on how to complete your advance directive using our editable PDF form.
Once you’ve finished your advance directive, click here to learn what you should do next to help ensure it will be honored.
Good to Go Resource Guide
A 16-page introduction to end-of-life planning with ideas, inspiration, information and answers.
You may also have your Resource Guide and advance planning documents mailed, please call us at 800.247.7421 to subit your request.
Many additional advance planning forms are availble for downloading in the blue right-hand coulmn of this page.
Compassion & Choices End-of-Life Consultation Program
Compassion & Choices’ End-of-Life Consultation (EOLC) Program is the oldest and most comprehensive such program in the nation. Each year, our committed EOLC volunteers advise thousands of clients in their search for a peaceful, humane death.
Even in states without an explicit legal framework, no one must suffer needlessly at life’s end. Other options exist to help you face the end of life. Our EOLC Program team stands ready to help all terminally ill and mentally competent patients—as well as those who just want to plan ahead—understand their options at life’s end, how to access comfort care and facilitate a peaceful death.
Volunteers and EOLC staff counsel and support the client and family through any decision, no matter how difficult. Where available, volunteers can be present if the client self-administers a means to end life; they are always available as a source of information, comfort and support.
To learn more about your options, and what is specifically available to you where you live, please contact our End-of-Life Consultation Program at 1.800.247.7421.