endoflifeAdvanced Directives are a series of legally binding forms to make your wishes known in the event you cannot make your own medical decisions because of an illness or accident. These forms and instructions can be found and downloaded at the Idaho Quality of Life Coalition at http://www.idqol.org/page/planning. There is also a link on the website to register these completed forms with the state.

I found this site to be very helpful in understanding various terms, and available options. The forms make it easy to choose which level of care you receive in the hospital.

Perhaps if you are seriously ill at home you may not want full resuscitation (code blue). If you call the ambulance, the crew and Emergency Room personnel are obligated to perform full resuscitation, regardless of your Advanced Directive. The only way to ensure you do not get this treatment is not to call the ambulance.

I would like to tell you of a specific instruction that I placed on my forms. On the blank box on page 6, I wrote in the statement “I, Ann Huycke, give permission for my agent to allow me to be taken against medical advice to die at home.” In the event my situation is terminal, my agent has been instructed to drag me (if necessary) home. I encourage you to really think about where you would like to take your last breath.

Another good organization with information for end-of-life choices is the Funeral Consumers Alliance of Idaho at http://fcai.fortboise.org/index.html. Since it is difficult to make funeral decisions at the stressful time surrounding death, for $35, the Alliance will lock in prices for burial or cremation.