End of Life Care Decisions Helpful Steps

In the event a patient is unable to speak for themselves, an Advance Directive communicates how medical care choices should be made and who should make them.

Advance Directive Steps

1. The Vermont Ethics Network website offers information and the necessary forms to complete an Advance Directive for Health Care (formerly known as a "Living Will"). This documents allow an individual to provide instructions regarding the following:

  • Appointment of a Health Care Agent (also known as Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care or Health Care Proxy)
  • Health Care Goals and Spiritual Wishes
  • Limitations of Treatment preferences at the end-of-life
  • Organ/Tissue Donation & Burial/Disposition of Remains
  • Signature and Witnessing

2. Register your advance directive with the Vermont Department of Health's Advance Care Directives Directory (VADR).* (While optional, registering is encouraged as it allows for immediate access when needed.)

  • Please note that at this time, COLST (Clinician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment) and DNR (Do Not Resuscitate Order) orders are not authorized to be submitted to the Vermont Advance Directive Registry.

3. Communicate your health care decisions and guidance for end of life care with your family and your primary care physician. Talk with them about your preferences regarding:

  • End of Life Treatment Wishes which may include Comfort Care Orders, Ventilation, Nutrition/Hydration - Tube Feeding, Dialysis)
  • Do Not Resuscitate Orders
  • Organ and Tissue Donation
  • Disposition after Death Wishes

If sending Advance Directive information to The UVM Medical Center directly, contact the Health Information Office (Medical Records Office), Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm at 802-847-2846.

Writing an Advance Directive

The UVM Medical Center health library offers step-by-step instructions on "Writing an Advance Directive."

Additional Resources

For more information about additional services at The UVM Medical Center, please see the following:

Advance directive booklets are available from the Frymoyer Community Health Resource Center located on the 3rd level of the Ambulatory Care Center at the Main Campus. The Frymoyer Center can be contacted at 802-847-8821 or resourcecenteratuvmhealth [dot] org.

Learn More

Contact the Vermont Ethics Network

The UVM Medical Center Services: