Page Menu Mobile Menu Button

Your Healthcare Preferences

Advance Healthcare Directive. An advance healthcare directive allows you to communicate your healthcare preferences to your loved ones.

An advance healthcare directive is a form you fill out that expresses your healthcare wishes if you’re no longer able to make these impactful decisions yourself or tell your providers, caregivers, or loved ones.

This important document helps ensure you have the quality of life you envision, and it spares your loved ones from having to make these decisions for you. An advance healthcare directive:

  • Specifies the types of treatments you want or don’t want at the end of life or whether you want to participate in organ donation
  • Allows you to appoint someone as your healthcare agent, who’s legally authorized to make decisions about your healthcare if you’re unable to make them yourself

An advance healthcare directive outlines your choices for decisions about possible health-related circumstances that could come up in the future. You should provide this document to your healthcare team if you’re admitted to the hospital.

Five Wishes Document. This living will specifies your personal, emotional, and spiritual needs in addition to your medical wishes.

Five Wishes allows you to express your more personal needs if you become seriously ill — it goes beyond the medical preferences of an advance healthcare directive or POLST form. It also lets you choose who you want to make healthcare decisions for you (called a healthcare agent) if you’re unable to.

Once you fill out the easy-to-use online form and sign it, it’s valid under Montana law. Access your free Five Wishes online document.

Providers Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST). POLST ensures emergency responders know the level of care you prefer in a life-threatening situation.

A POLST form provides instructions from your healthcare provider to emergency responders that specify the level of medical care you want, such as CPR or nutrition. It provides direction for emergency responders if you’re unable to guide them. You should:

  • Bring the POLST form with you wherever you go for medical treatment.
  • Attach the POLST form to your refrigerator door when you’re at home in case you’re unable to give it to emergency responders yourself.
  • Include a copy of your durable power of attorney and your Five Wishes document to the back of your POLST form.

Your POLST form expresses preferences that are appropriate for your current health condition — unlike an advance healthcare directive that provides guidance for situations that may occur in the future.