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Listing: Advance Directives forms for health choices - IDHP and POLST

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Online Resource


Reviewed Date

May 11, 2023

You have the right to make decisions about the health care you get now and in the future. An advance directive is a written statement you prepare that expresses how you want medical decisions made in the future should you not be able to make them yourself


Talking to a physician, health care provider, hospital social worker or attorney for guidance is a good place to start when making decisions about advance care planning and living wills for yourself or a family member who needs a guardian.

Advance Directives forms of IL- direct downloads links English/Spanish:

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Uniform Practitioner Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Form can be used to create a practitioner order that eflects an individual’s wishes about receiving cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and life-sustaining treatments such as medical interventions and artificially administered nutrition. It allows an individual, in consultation with his or her health care professional, to make voluntary advance decisions about CPR and other life-sustaining care in the event the individual’s breathing and/or heartbeat stops or based on the patient’s medical condition and preferences.

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These preferences are often put into an advance directive, a legal document that goes into effect only if you are incapacitated and unable to speak for yourself. Taking care of your preferences in advance of the unexpected, is a loving way to aid those around you in making choices for the benefit of all.

Advance care planning involves learning about the types of decisions that might need to be made, considering those decisions ahead of time, and then making those caring for you know about your preferences.


Illinois Department of Public Health - provides Links for Advance Directives:

What Happens If You Cannot Make Health Care Decisions For Yourself And You Don't Have an Advance Directive?

If you cannot make health care decisions for yourself, a health care "surrogate" may be chosen for you. Under Illinois law, two doctors must certify that you cannot make health care decisions for yourself before a health care surrogate can be appointed. A health care surrogate can be one of the following persons (in order of priority): guardian of the person, spouse, any adult child(ren), either parent, any adult brother or sister, any adult grandchild(ren), a close friend, or guardian of the estate.

Illinois Forms for Guardianship:

Short-term Guardian Form

The guardian of a disabled person may appoint in writing, without court approval, a short-term guardian of the disabled person to take over the guardian's duties, to the extent provided in Section 11a-18.3, each time the guardian is unavailable or unable to carry out those duties. A short-term guardian appointed by the guardian shall have authority to act as guardian of the disabled person for a cumulative total of 60 days during any 12 month period.

Standby Guardian Form

The guardian of a disabled person may designate in any written document, including a will, a person qualified to be appointed as standby guardian or successor standby guardian of the person or estate, or both, of the disabled person. According to Section 11a-5, a standby guardian is someone who has been appointed by the court as the person who will act as guardian of the disabled person when the disabled person's guardian dies or is no longer willing or able to make and carry out day-to-day care decisions concerning the disabled person.

See IDPH Advance Directives site for more information:


This content is for informational purposes only and may not be comprehensive. Information contained does not imply an endorsement from Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, and does not replace the advice of a qualified healthcare professional.  See here  for further details.
© Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
Henry B. Betts LIFE Center – (312) 238-5433

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