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    Advance Directives

    Advance directives are extremely helpful in times of uncertainty. We have provided this information to you as it is stated in a federal law called the Patient Self Determination Act as well as the California Health Care Decisions Act. These laws provide the ability to insure that your health care wishes are known and considered if you become unable to make these decisions yourself.

    Information and FAQs

    Completing an advance directive often comes with a lot of questions. We've compiled answers to many of these questions for you in our Frequently Asked Questions on Advanced Directives section.

    If you have questions that are not addressed here, please email them to us at ethics@sutterhealth.org.

    Advance Directive Forms

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    There are many forms available to complete an Advance Directive. Below are links to forms you can use. However, you are not required to use one of these forms (at California Pacific or any other California hospital). You may use another form or your own.

    Physician's Orders for Life Sustaining Treatments

    Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment - often referred to as simply POLST - is a special kind of advance directive. It is better described as a complement to advance directives. It is a form that states what kind of treatment patients want at the end of their lives. It is officially printed on bright pink paper and is signed by both a patient and their doctor. It is intended to give patients more control of their treatment at the end of life by ensuring that their wishes are known when and if the patient transitions to a different level of care or care provider. POLST is a traveling document in that it follows patients as they move through the health care system in California. Other states have POLST also but there are some regulatory differences. Check with your doctor or local hospital for more information if you are outside of California. For more information, we recommend you visit the website of the California Coalition for Compassionate Care.

    You can obtain a form from the California Department of Public Health.

    Additional Resources

    Below are some other resources for advance directives.