What is an Advance Directive?

An advance directive is a legal document that you can complete on your own that can help ensure your preferences for various medical treatments are followed if you become unable to make your own healthcare decisions.  More...


Governor Christie signed legislation in 2011 that enabled patients to indicate their preferences regarding life-sustaining treatment through the Practitioner Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form. This form, signed by a patient's attending physician or advanced practice nurse, provides instructions for health care personnel to follow for a range of life-prolonging interventions. This form becomes part of a patient's medical records, following the patient from one healthcare setting to another, including hospital, nursing home or hospice.  More...

Additional Resources

The decisions that patients and families make regarding palliative and end-of-life care are critical to ensuring that medical treatment and individual quality-of-life wishes are properly carried out. As difficult as it may be, having conversations and documenting decisions will ensure that wishes are honored and care is delivered in an appropriate manner.

Resources on Palliative and End-of-Life Care for Patients and Families

Discuss, Prepare, Choose

Far too many people wait until they are in the midst of a health care crisis before thinking about what options are available or what care they or their loved ones would want. A recent survey, conducted by the Conversation Project, reported that more than 9 in 10 Americans think it is important to discuss their wishes for end-of-life care, however only 3 in 10 have actually had these discussions. More...

Palliative & Hospice Care

Last Reviewed: 1/5/2016