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Related Information

HAP Memo 16-02
2016 Pennsylvania Donate Life hospital challenge

HAP Memo 15-02
2015 Pennsylvania Donate Life hospital challenge

Donate Life Hospital Challenge
Information and resources for the 2016 PA Donate Life Hospital Challenge

POLST Implementation Checklist for Nursing Homes
Information nursing homes need to address when implementing a POLST program

POLST Implementation Checklist for Hospitals
Information hospitals need to address when implementing a POLST program

Mental Health Power of Attorney Form
Sample mental health power of attorney form

Mental Health Advance Directive Form
Sample mental health advance directive document

Decide for Yourself: A Guide to Mental Health Advance Directives
Information on mental health advance directives for consumers

Example Form: Out-of-Hospital Do-Not-Resuscitate Order
Sample do-not-resuscitate order

Example Form: Combined Living Will and Health Care Power of Attorney
Sample combined living will and health care power of attorney document

Example Form: Living Will Declaration
Sample living will document

Decide for Yourself: A Guide to Advance Health Care Directives
Information on advance health care directives for consumers

Hospital Resources Available to Assist Patients with End-of-Life Care Planning

HAP is an advocate for coordinated end-of-life care planning. This part of the health care process should not be dealt with separately from other health care delivery issues.

Consumers need to have candid discussions with their families and health care providers well before a medical crisis occurs. These conversations build trust and understanding between all parties. They lead to clarity about how an individual wishes to receive care if they become terminally ill or experience a serious medical emergency.

HAP and its member organizations are working together to help patients understand their options and define their preference for quality and peace of mind at the end-of-life care with a variety of resources, including:

Advance Directive

A legal document that goes into effect only if a patient is incapacitated and unable to speak for themselves. It helps others to know what type of medical and/or mental health care the patient wants, as well as their values and desires related to end-of-life care. It often consists of a living will and health care power of attorney.

Mental Health Advance Directive

A legal document that goes into effect only if a patient’s mental illness makes them incapable of making mental health decisions. It helps others to know what type of mental health care the patient wants, as well as their values and desires related to end-of-life care. It often consists of a mental health care advance directive and mental health care power of attorney.

Pennsylvania Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)

A tool used by the medical team through conversation with a patient and/or family to summarize a patient’s treatment choices in the form of written medical orders about treatment goals for end-of-life care.

It is designed to be used across health care settings, so that the wishes of the patient can be carried out in any setting, from hospital, to nursing home, to home health, or hospice care.

POLST differs from an advance directive (living will or health care power of attorney) in that it is an actionable medical order dealing with the here-and-now needs of patients—it builds on an advance directive, but can be created for patients without an advance directive.

Organ Donation

HAP, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Center for Organ Recovery and Education, and Gift of Life Donor Program, supports the “Pennsylvania Donate Life Hospital Challenge,” which seeks to raise donor awareness, clarify common myths, and increase the number of donors in the commonwealth.

Considering that more than 8,300 Pennsylvanians await organ transplants and thousands of others await tissue transplants, HAP recommends incorporating organ donation into your advanced care planning.


Institute of Medicine Conversation Resources

Evidence-driven resources for having “the conversation” about our end-of-life care with friends, family, and care providers

The Conversation Project

An initiative dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.

Caring with Confidence

Holy Redeemer Hospice’s award-winning blog for hospice caregivers, which also provides useful tools and web resources for the family caregiver.

The Caregiver Action Network

A family caregiver organization working to improve the quality of life for those who care for loved ones with chronic conditions, disabilities, disease, or old age.

National Healthcare Decisions Day

An initiative to encourage patients to express their wishes regarding health care and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be.

POLST Resources for Pennsylvania 

Links to POLST form, implementation steps, FAQs, eight-step protocol for the POLST discussion, and guidance for health care professionals

Pennsylvania Act 169 of 2006 

PA’s 2006 legislation that provides a framework for advance health care directives and health care decision-making

Pennsylvania Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) Regulations

Link to Department of Health regulations

Related News

November 05, 2018

News Release: SEPA Hospitals, Health Systems Honored at HAP’s Southeast Connect

News Release:  Five southeastern Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems were recognized Friday for their work to provide exceptional care to the region’s patients and families.

September 14, 2018

Pennsylvania Hospitals Answer the Call to Support Organ Donation

According to a recent Associated Press report, individuals who receive a kidney or part of a liver from a living donor not only cut years off their wait for a transplant, but those organs also tend to survive longer. Yet, living donors make up a fraction of transplants, and their numbers have plateaued amid barriers that can block otherwise-willing people from giving.

September 07, 2018

Joint News Release: Record Outcomes for 2018 HAP Donate Life PA Hospital Challenge

Joint News Release:  The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania (HAP), the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE), Gift of Life Donor Program, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) today announced the top hospitals and health systems of the 2018 HAP Donate Life Pennsylvania Hospital Challenge.

See All End-of-Life Care Planning News

Related Blogs

November 28, 2017

Let’s Talk: Why Pennsylvania Needs POLST

April 02, 2014

Death, Taxes, and End-of-Life Care

Death is certain but how we die and how we live until we die is a path determined by many decisions as well as many things beyond our control.

See All End-of-Life Care Planning Blogs


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