Advance Directives protect you against medical and legal systems that may act on their own behalf and not necessarily yours. There are three basic forms of Advance Directives.
1. Living Will – Provides a statement of and evidence for your desires regarding end-of-life treatment.
2. Power of Attorney for Health Care – Appoints a person to make health care decisions for you if you are incapacitated. Can also be used to express your desires regarding end-of-life treatment.
The above two documents may be combined into a single document. You can download free copies of these Arizona-specific advance directive documents from:
- The website of the Arizona Attorney General [Fillable PDF]
When you complete your advance directives you may register them online here so healthcare providers may retrieve them:
You can also get more information and a link to another Arizona-specific form from:
3. POLST (Physician Orders [regarding] Life Sustaining Treatment – This is a form signed by your medical care provider (not by you) but it is up to the patient what they want their POLST form to say and the patient can void it at any time. It is a plan of treatment that spells out the type of treatment you want and don’t want. It may be more likely to be honored than a living will because it is a medical order. It is to be used when you are seriously ill or frail.
4. Pre-Hospital Medical Care Directive – The “Orange Form” which provides for “Do Not Resuscitate” in the event of cardiac or respiratory arrest outside of a hospital setting. WARNING: Unlike the other directives, this directive should only be used by those with little quality of life left. This form must be signed by your doctor.
A person who has a valid Orange Form may also wear an identifying orange bracelet on either the wrist or the ankle, similar to identification bracelets worn in hospitals. However, the orange bracelet itself, without the form also present, will not be honored. The orange bracelet only alerts rescue personnel to look for an Orange Form.
You may download a copy of the text for the Orange Form from the website of the Arizona Attorney General, but to be valid it must be printed on orange paper. It is one page (the last page of the PDF document linked to above).