There are many things in life that are out of our hands. The Five Wishes® document gives you a way to control something very important -- how you are treated if you get seriously ill.
To order a copy go to: www.agingwithdignity.org or call: (888) 594-7437 or (888) 5-WISHES
Advance Directives are legal documents allowing an individual to plan for their future medical care, particularly when they are unable to make his or her own decisions. These documents (i.e., Living Will, Healthcare Proxy, and DNR) allow an individual to articulate their preference for care, in the event they become unable to communicate such direction in the future, when faced with a terminal and/or life-threatening illness.
Advance Directives recognize the individual’s right of decision-making in planning their own end-of-life care. It is important to note that individuals always reserves the right to change or alter their written directions, as long as they are capable to communicating with family and/or healthcare providers. It is only in the absence of such an ability to communicate their preferences that healthcare professionals follow the patient’s Advance Directives for care.
In Louisiana and Mississippi, residents (by legislative statues) are allowed to complete the following Advance Directives:
Living Will: Enables an individual to provide instruction about the kind of medical care they wish to receive if they become incapacitated or otherwise unable to participate in their own treatment decisions. A Living Will can be drafted to express their ideas regarding the types of treatment an individual would and/or would not want, and can be written to cover a variety of contingencies.
Healthcare Proxy: Also know as a Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare, allows one individual to name another individual to speak for them, if and only if they are incapable of speaking for themselves, when medical decision-making is required. The person named as Healthcare proxy or surrogate is expected to act in accordance with the patient’s wishes as stated in any other written and/or unwritten Advance Directive he or she has communicated about their care.
Individuals are encouraged to discuss their Advance Directives with family members, their healthcare proxy, their healthcare provider(s) and legal counsel, as well as to update their Advance Directives from time to time in order to ensure their preferences are understood and workable.
The Conversation Project is dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.
Download Your Conversation Starter Kit
Download free state-specific Advance Directives documents and instructions (in PDF format) for residents of either Louisiana or Mississippi:
Louisiana Advance Directives
LA Instructions (16k PDF)
LA Living Will Form (52k PDF)
Approved by the Louisiana legislature during the 2010 legislative session as ACT 954, the LaPOST document is a means by which a person may communicate his/her wishes concerning life-sustaining treatment with a physician's order. More
Mississippi Adance Directives
MS Form (36k PDF)
MS Instructions (20k PDF)