Family Practice of CentraState at Iron Bridge

Dr. Orlando F. Mills and Kasey Leung, APN

Planning for Advanced Health Care- YOUR Choices Matter


Advance Directives:  You have the right to make decisions about your own healthcare.  There may be medical advances that you want to take part in or possibly, you do not.  Whichever is the case, it is YOUR decision to make.  At Dr. Mills office, we believe it is important to discuss these decisions before an acute illness or crisis.  If the healthcare team does not know what you want in terms of advanced treatments, you may receive treatments such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) being placed on a ventilator or dialysis- any of which may not be what you wanted. 

An Advance Directive or Living Will is a document you fill out “in advance” which tellsDr. Mills and your loved ones exactly what kind of care you would like if you become unable to make medical decisions for yourself.  The Advance Directive goes into effect only when the individual is no longer able to participate in their care. An Advance Directive informs others if you want certain treatment or DO NOT Want certain treatment, despite your being unable to speak for yourself at the time.  You may designate a “Power of Attorney” (POA), someone who has the legal authority to speak for you on your behalf if you are unable to make treatment decisions for yourself.  This is a person that you have chosen to make health care decisions for you any time you are unable to make medical decisions.   If you do not have a “Proxy” named, your family will be approached to make decisions for you if you are unable.  It is recommended that all capable adults, regardless of health status, complete and Advance Directive / Living Will to let others know what they would want.  You can print out the Advance Directive Form below, fill it out and provide it to our office for your Medical Record.  You can change or cancel your Advance Directive at any time. 

POLST (Physician Order Life Sustaining Treatment):  A POLST form is a medical “order” that is developed by your physician with you, the patient.  Like the Advance Directive, it directs care to the medical interventions you wish or do not wish to have. POLST is not intended for medically stable patients who have many years of life expectancy.  (NJHA, Guidance for Health Professionals).  However, because it is a medical “order”, caregivers must follow the direction on the POLST form.  The POLST form must be signed by a physician or an advance practice nurse in order to be valid.  The POLST is “active” from the moment it is signed and MUST be followed by Emergency Medical Services, Hospitals, Emergency Rooms, etc.  There is no interpretation needed as it provides clear instructions at the point of contact.  It is suggested that the POLST form be located on the refrigerator or a prominent location in the home.

The POLST form should be readily accessible in your doctors office records AND the home setting.  The POLST form “follows you” from setting to setting such as hospital to rehabilitation to home again.  You can change or cancel your POLST form at any time. You may print out the POLST Form on our website below.

Hospice:  Hospice is care specifically to help patients estimated to have less than six months to live and their families through the stages of terminal illness.  Hospice can be provided in the home, a nursing facility or the hospital.  The focus of hospice care is not cure, but pain and symptom management to maintain quality and dignity of life. Speak to Dr. Mills if you have any questions about the right time for Hospice.