Advance Care Planning refers to a process
of mapping out the types of medical and non-medical
care you would like to receive at some future point
should a life-threatening or terminal disease make it
impossible for you to express your wishes at that time.
This type of planning is an ongoing process. It is a
process of thoughtful discussion between you and your
care providers, spouse, family, and significant others.
While this conversation often results in a document
(see Advance Directives below), it is more than just
a piece of paper. It is an effort to better educate
yourself about alternatives regarding the end of life
and an opportunity to educate your physician, spouse,
family, and others about your values, goals, and wishes
related to end-of-life care.
This communication between you and your
health care provider can be done at any time, preferably
when you are younger and still healthy. Once completed,
it should be revisited on a regular basis - every five
years or after any potentially life-changing event,
such as marriage, divorce, death of a spouse, or the
onset of a life-threatening disease.
Advance care planning usually produces
an Advance Directive,
which is a written document that helps to summarize
the plans you have made for future care. These documents
take several forms, such as a Living
Will and a Durable
Power of Attorney for Health Care. While they can
be completed without the involvement of your health
care provider, it is much preferred to do this together.
The future usefulness of these documents is better assured
if your health care professional has been part of the
Use these documents if you are choosing not to complete
them online. If you would like to complete them online,
click here to begin the process.
You will need
Acrobat Reader to download and
view these documents.
Please click here if you need instructions
for filling out your Advance Care Planning Documents.
A Living Will, referred
to as a "Declaration" on Nevada's official
state form, briefly states your wishes regarding treatment
that "only prolongs the process of dying."
A living will ONLY takes effect when you are declared
"terminal" - that is when two physicians (your
primary physician and one other), agree that you have
an incurable, irreversible condition that will cause
your death in a "relatively short time." One
version of Nevada's form also allows you to name someone
to speak on your behalf, again, this will ONLY take
effect when you are declared terminal.
A Durable Power of Attorney for
Health Care is a document in which you designate
someone to officially represent your views. Unlike other
power-of-attorney designations, this type ONLY comes
into effect if you can no longer express your own wishes
regarding health care. Importantly, durable powers of
attorney for health care differ from living wills in
that it is NOT necessary for you to be declared terminal
for the person you appoint (your proxy) to speak on
your behalf. This type of document also allows you to
express your wishes about care at the end-of-life in
greater detail than is possible in a living will. There
is an official state form for this purpose; many other
groups provide forms that can supplement the state form.
The Nevada Revised Statute 449.626(2)
prioritizes the order of authority in the event a written
directive does not exist as follows:
1. The spouse of the patient;
2. An adult child of the patient or, if there is more
than one child, a majority of the adult children who
are reasonably available for consultation;
3. The parents of the patient;
4. An adult sibling of the patient or, if there is more
than one adult sibling, a majority of the adult siblings
who are reasonably available for consultation; or
5. The nearest other adult relative of the patient by
blood or adoption who is reasonably available for consultation.
· Frequently Asked Questions