Online Resources

There are a number of resources you can access online that will help you get started, along with the documents needed to record your wishes  Links and brief explanations are provided below for advance care planning resources, state-specific advance directives, and other related end of life documents.

If you would like to speak with someone directly about advance care planning or completing or updating your documents, contact your local hospice provider who has staff trained to guide you through this process. If you need contact information for your local hospice, you can find it on our Provider Locator, or contact us at 800-692-8859.

Others who can be helpful are your doctor, hospital, pharmacist, spiritual adviser, or attorney.

Online Resources to Help Get you Started
  • Isn't It Time We Talk? - The Carolinas Center-sponsored campaign and helpful resources that are dedicated to helping families talk about their preferences for health care treatment in the future and make written plans that will be honored by their families and health care providers.
  • Begin the Conversation - An advance care planning program created to encourage the use of advance directives, was created in 2009 by Lower Cape Fear Hospice. To help everyone prepare for the unexpected, the goal is to encourage the completion of advance directives, with a focus on the value of conversations in advance care planning.
  • The Conversation Project - Dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care, this 2010 initiative was founded by those who believe that the place for conversation to begin is at the kitchen table, not in the ICU.
  • Five Wishes - This advance directive was introduced in 1997 by Aging With Dignity, a national non-profit with a mission to affirm and safeguard the human of individuals as they age and to promote better care for those near the end of life.
  • Got Plans? - Hospice & Palliative CareCenter, Novant Health, Rowan Hospice & Palliative Care, and Wake Forest Baptist Health have come together to promote a common cause in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina. Recognizing the importance of advance care planning for their patients and community-at-large, their goal is to promote advance care planning so that communities are educated and engaged in the process.
  • National Healthcare Decisions Day - NHDD, now in its 10th year and partnering this year with The Conversation Project, exists as a 50-state annual initiative to provide clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to both the public and providers/ facilities through the widespread availability and dissemination of simple, free, and uniform tools (not just forms) to guide the process.
  • South Carolina Hospital Association's SC/National Healthcare Decisions Day Action Guide - The SCHA values and promotes informed decision making that is done before there is a crisis.
  • South Carolina Lieutenant Governor's Office on Aging - Information on advance care planning--including instructions and brochure--and copies of the SC legislative approved advance directives.
  • Living Will (Advance Directive for a Natural Death or Declaration of Desire for a Natural Death)
    A LIVING WILL is a legal document in which you specify your preferences for future medical treatments in case you are unable to speak for yourself when medical treatment becomes an option.

    Please note the following about a Living Will:

  • It can be created without cost, unless there are attorney or notary fees.
  • In NC & SC, the person's signature must be notarized and witnessed to make it legal.
  • The document goes into effect when the person loses the ability to speak for themselves.
  • It is a state-specific document but generally honored in other states. i>

  • It does not expire, but it is a good idea to review every few years and amend if needed.

    NC Practical Form (also known as NC Simple Form)

    SC Declaration of Desire for a Natural Death

    SC Declaración a Favor de Una Muerte Natural

  • Healthcare Power of Attorney

    A HEALTHCARE POWER OF ATTORNEY is a legal document in which you appoint someone to speak for you regarding medical decisions if you are unable to speak for yourself. This person is called an "agent" and you select them to speak on your behalf based on your wishes.

    NC Practical Form (also known as NC Simple Form)

    SC Healthcare Power of Attorney

    SC Oder Legal Para Atención Médica

    Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Paradigm
    Both NC and SC have developed forms modeled on the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm, a program currently being used or developed in 45 states. The POLST paradigm encourages a coordinated approach to end-of-life planning. It is based on advance care planning conversations between the patient, Healthcare Power of Attorney (if applicable), family, and healthcare professionals which identifies the care the patient would like to receive at the end of his/her life. As a result of the conversations, the patient’s wishes may be documented on the form, transforming the shared decisions into an actionable medical order to help ensure a patient’s wishes are honored.
    Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) Form - Applies to North Carolina Only
    Pursuant to N.C. General Statute 90-21.17, NC Department of Health & Human Services, in conjunction with the Office of Emergency Medical Services (OEMS), has adopted the Medical Order for Scope of Treatment (MOST) form to implement the POLST paradigm in the state. The MOST form is for use by physicians and other licensed healthcare facilities to assist in providing information relating to a patient's desire for resuscitation or life-prolonging measures. The form is only available to physicians' offices or other licensed hospital or healthcare facilities.

    You can access a sample copy of the MOST form at Sample Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST) Form

    To access a copy of "Key Facts About MOST for Patients and Loved Ones", click here.

    Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) – Applies to South Carolina Only
    The South Carolina Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) Pilot Project began on April 16, 2014 and was developed by the South Carolina Coalition for the Care of the Seriously Ill. The Coalition believes that is a needed next step in providing excellent communication between seriously ill patients and their physicians, as well as identifying the active voice for their health care decisions.

    The pilot is in process in Charleston and Greenville counties and includes the Greenville Hospital System, Bon Secours Hospital – Greenville, the Medical University of South Carolina, and Roper-St. Francis Healthcare. The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reviewed the POST form and the pilot proposal and alerted the Emergency Medical Systems in the affected counties. The pilot will inform any changes needed to the form and process.

    The plan is that the POST will be available to the entire state of SC at a later date. More information is available online or from a healthcare provider in the two pilot counties.

    You can access a sample copy of the POST form at Sample Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (POST) Form.

    Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Form – Applies to North Carolina Only
    The Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form is used to indicate that a patient does not want resuscitation in the event of cardiac arrest. Like the MOST form, this document must be obtained through a healthcare professional.

    Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Form – Applies to South Carolina Only
    The Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form in SC was created in response to a statute that addresses the Emergency Services Non-Resuscitation Order and can be honored by Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The form must be obtained from a physician.