Advance Care Planning Documents & Resources

WAHA End of Life Choices (EOLC) recommends that you make an appointment with one of our certified advance care planning Facilitators. Your WAHA Facilitator will use the documents below as part of your Advance Care Planning process. The Facilitator is skilled at helping you clarify your personal values, beliefs and preferences for end-of-life care. The meeting moves at your own pace, and there is no pressure to influence your treatment preferences. There is no cost for this service though Donations are always welcome.

To set up an appointment, or for more information, please visit our Contact Page to get in touch with a team member who can assist you further.

WAHA’s Advance Care Planning program uses the following documents to document your wishes. In it you spell out your wishes for health care and appoint a healthcare agent to make decisions for your care in the event that you are unable to do so. If you feel more comfortable using another Advance Directive, WAHA volunteers, are happy to assist you with your document. Note: WAHA has stopped using their Advance Directive as of 3/12/2018.

WAHA recommends using the following forms:

1) Washington State Medical Association -Submit to your local hospital and primary care doctor. Medical providers recommend using this form due to it’s length and easy lookup in your electronic medical record.

2) Honoring Choices PNW -to guide you about your wishes on medical treatment you do or not want.

If you are starting to fill out your Advance Directive on your own, we recommend the following resources:

-WAHA’s Reflections Booklet. Read entire booklet and place special attention to pages 11-13. If you need help with Advance Care Planning terms see Glossary on pages 19-20.

-Other resources below to help with your understanding of the Advance Care Planning process.

This map outlines the path to completing your advance directive.

View the Map
Contains essential information about the Advance Care Planning process as well as important reflection and prioritizing questions to assist you.

View the Reflections Book
Download and print this handy wallet card to have with you at all times. In the event your advance directive needs to be accessed and you are unable to speak for yourself, this card will inform medical personnel about where it is located and who your healthcare agent is.

View the Wallet Card
The Conversation Project Explore the Conversation Starter Kit and learn how to think about and talk about your wishes for end-of-life care. Great guidance is provided on “How to Choose a Health Care Proxy & How to Be a Health Care Proxy.” Available in English and Spanish.

This document contains important information to share with those you choose to be your Power of Attorney for Healthcare.

View the Information for Health Care Agents
This document provides valuable information and statistics on survival rates of CPR (Cardio-pulmonary Resuscitation).

View the CPR Decision Aid
Below are some of the other Advance Directive Documents which are commonly used and legal in the State of Washington. Our volunteers are able to assist you with any advance directive.

Washington State Medical Association

Honoring Choices Pacific Northwest

End of Life Washington

Caring Connections

5 Wishes

Washington State Catholic Conference Decisions Guide

Below are a two mental health directives which are used in the State of Washington. These documents may be used to assist your family and medical team in knowing your wishes related to specific mental health conditions. These documents are meant to supplement, not replace, healthcare (advance) directives.

Additional Resources for Filling out your Advance Directive:

Prepare for Your Care
The PREPARE website is designed to help people and their loved ones prepare for medical decision making, to be sure they get the care that is right for them. It is easy to use and understand, even for those not especially comfortable using computers.

Washington State Hospital Association End of Life Manual

American Bar Association – Health Decisions Resources

National Healthcare Decisions Day

Normalizing Conversations About Death/Dying:

Bellingham Death Café At a Death Cafe people gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.

Death Over Dinner
Let’s have dinner and talk about death.  How we want to die – represents the most important and costly conversation America isn’t having.

DeathWise is a nonprofit organization passionately committed to helping people talk about, make decisions and plan for the end of their lives.

Information about Death with Dignity Act

Department of Health – Death with Dignity Act

End of Life Washington – Death with Dignity Act

Overview of End-Of-Life Options

Comfort Care Resources:
Bellingham Threshold Singers

Advocacy Models:
Life Before Death – The Lien Foundation

Respecting Choices

Engage with Grace

Faith’s Role in Advance Care Planning:
U.S. Catholic – Spelling Out Your Views for End-of-Life Care is a ‘Spiritual’ Act

Consider the Conversation: A Documentary on a Taboo Subject

PBS: Life Panel? Death Panel?

Passing On:  A Documentary

PBS Frontline: Being Mortal

Atul Gawande on Aging, Dying and Being Mortal

Advance Care Planning: Patients Describe their Experienes

PBS Frontline: The Undertaking
“A good funeral gets the dead where they need to go and the living where they need to be.” -Thomas Lynch

New York Times: Pitfalls for Proxies
The importance of having an advance directive. Even more important, having a well informed patient advocate. No more hospitals, no more chemo.” He faced the end on his own terms.

Aging in Iowa: Being prepared for the inevitable
When Syndy was trained to be a facilitator for the Honoring Your Wishes program, which encourages people to think about and record their wishes for their deaths, she and her husband realized they needed to have their own discussions about that difficult topic.

Honoring Choices Minnesota: Faith, Culture & Identity Perspectives.
An excellent collection of videos about “the conversation.” Honoring Choices Minnesota has nearly 700 videos addressing end-of-life decisions from practically every perspective.

CBS News: Being Prepared for the Final Days

Showtime: Time of Death

PBS Frontline: Facing Death

Let’s Talk about Death with Ellen Goodman

Fox17: Have You Had The Talk?

Knocking On Heaven’s Door: The Path To A Better Way Of Death

NBC Nightly News: How to Start Conversations About End-of-Life Issues
NBC medical reporter Nancy Snyderman, MD, recently shared her experiences as a caregiver for her aging parents: “It would be easy to assume that, as a doctor, I could navigate the health care system with ease. But I was as overwhelmed as the next person,” she recalled. On NBC Nightly News, Dr. Snyderman discussed with her parents the importance of living wills and putting their desires into writing.

Amazing Circles Workshops: I’m Dying to Talk with You by Dave Kampfschulte

TEDx: Pallitave Care, a Different Voice in Healthcare by Timothy Ihrig

Maplewood Firefighters Placed onLeave While Dying Woman’s Resuscitation is Investigated

NPR’s Talk of the Town: Nearly Everyone has Advance Directives (and Peace of Mind) in LaCrosse, Wisconsin

NPR: Health Care For Seniors Often Goes Beyond Their Desires

Bellingham Public Library

New York Times: Zen and the Art of Dying Well

New York Times: Helping Patients and Doctors Talk About Death

Time: Five Tips for Families Facing End-of-Life Care

Ken Murray MD: How Doctors Die

Ken Murray: Doctors Really Do Die Differently

Living Well with Breast Cancer by Choosing Wisely: A Conversation with Amy Berman

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies: Dying in America

Ira Byock, MD.

  • Dying Well: The Prospect of Growth at the End-of-Life
  • The Four Things that Matter Most
  • The Best Care Possible: A Physician’s Quest to Transform Care Through the End of Life

Colleen Tallen, MD.

  • Decide While You Can: How to Make Your Own Medical Decisions Before Someone Makes Them for You
  • Final Gifts: Understanding the Special Awareness, Needs, and Communications of the Dying
Helpful information from PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center about assuring your Advance Directive document reaches your patient chart: