Category: Education:How To

We are all going to die. And someone will have to handle what we leave behind. Odds are good that person will be someone who loved us, someone who will be grieving. Let’s not make it harder for them than it has to be. Let’s make some key decisions now in order to be kinder to those we’ll leave behind. What kind of decisions? Welcome to Dying Kindness, the podcast for people who are going to die someday. Host Cianna Stewart is learning about death and dying, and sharing information and tips along the way. Episodes include practical information, philosophical musings, interviews, and a dose of morbid humor. Because we’re all going die someday and we should learn how to talk about it.

19: Which Forms? When? Living Will, DNR, POLST, Advance Directive

March 22, 2022

Living Will. DNR. Advance Directive. POLST. 

You know these forms are important. But are they the same? Do you need all of them? What are they for? And when would you need them?


Forms are location specific. Do an online search for "[where you live] and [name of form]" or ask your lawyer to get the right version for you.


Recap of summary: 

  • Everyone over the age of 18 should specify their wishes and designate a health care proxy, ideally with an Advance Directive or Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney
  • If you’re close to the end of life or frail and the risk of complications from resuscitation would not be worth it, that’s when you want a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order
  • If you’re close to the end of life and don’t want to artificially extend your life and you want to be sure that your wishes are honored (and it’s available in your area), get a Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)