Advance directive: This is a legal document that states what kinds of treatment should be given to us when we can no longer make decisions or speak for ourselves. It only goes into effect if we are terminally ill or have lost decision-making capacity, and it is usually completed in advance of any known illness. We complete it ourselves, and unless there are other known facts, it must be honored. To become valid, it must include the signatures of two witnesses.
Health care power of attorney: This document authorizes someone else to make decisions about our health care when we are no longer able to make those decisions or speak for ourselves. In Louisiana, there is a very specific order of who can make these decisions for us if we have no written instructions available. It must be witnessed by two people to become valid.
LaPOST: The LaPOST document is more than an advance directive or health care power of attorney. It's a medical order that is completed only after we - or our health care representatives - have discussed our goals of care and treatment preferences with our physician. When completed, it must be followed by all health care professionals. The LaPOST document may also be used to translate an advance directive into a physician's order.
Click here to download the LaPOST document in English.
Click here to download the LaPOST document in Spanish.
Click here to download the LaPOST document in French.
Click here to download the LaPOST document in Vietnamese.
Click here to download the advance directive.
Click here to download the health care power of attorney.