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Tel. (808) 956-6544

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Home of the Akamai Kupuna
-- Wise Older Person

Prepare for the Worst and Expect the Best!

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New and Helpful, Concise information especially for Caregivers



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Get More Information!

More comprehensive information with forms for Older Persons Families and Caregivers



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Available for pick up
at UH Law School
Clinical Building when University reopens


2485 Dole St.
Call 956-6544


This publication was funded through

the Hawaii Justice Foundation

with Support from the William S. Richardson School of Law


COVID 19 Update


COVID-19 has forced many of us to think about our own mortality and has raised the question of the relevancy of traditional advance care planning, including end-of-life planning. Covid 19 has also verified for many that anyone can die at any time and perhaps in isolation. Because the pandemic is fast spreading and unpredictable, you may not have time to think about the treatment you may want or not want, or whether you want to stay at home to receive treatment or go a hospital. Even if you have thought about these matters, your loved ones and your health care providers may not know your desires and may feel inadequate to figure out what you would have wanted.


We urge you to talk to your family, your caregivers, and your health care providers about what matters to you and what your wishes are regarding your medical treatment. You then should express them in a legally recognizable manner such as in an advance directive for health care. If you become incapacitated, it becomes even more urgent to express your instructions.


To get a better understanding about relevant terms and legal requirements regarding advance care planning, including advance directives and POLST Forms, please read relevant portions of our handbook Deciding What Matters and What to Do on this website at

Especially important is Chapter 2, “Planning for Medical Treatment, Health Care Decisions, and Decisions at the End of Life,” starting on page 49.

In brief, advance directives include individual instructions for health care that express your
medical treatment and durable powers of attorney for health care in which you appoint someone to speak for you if you cannot. POLST refers to Provider Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment. POLST forms are not advance directives but rather are provider orders that contain information and directions about your end-of-life decisions, such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and tube feeding which are immediately actionable and emergency medical personnel and other health care professionals are required to follow. You should know that, with respect to POLST forms, if you are incapacitated, your legally authorized representative (a guardian, health care agent or surrogate), may initiate, change, or revoke the POLST form at any time and in any manner that communicates intent to revoke.


If you have already completed an advance directive or a POLST form and you are worried that your previous instructions may not fit your current thinking in the era of Covid 19, you may wish to execute a new advance directive and/or POLST Form. Also, if you are worried that your legally authorized representative may execute, change, or revoke a POLST form and provide instructions not in keeping with your current desires, you may wish to address this issue, too.


If you do not have time or if you do not have the opportunity to execute documents in accordance with pertinent laws, you can still express your new instructions in a manner that is legally sufficient. Under Hawai`i law, found in Chapter 327E-3(a) of the Uniform Health Care Decisions Act (Modified), an adult or emancipated minor may give an individual instruction. The instruction may be oral or written. The instruction may be limited to take effect only if a specified condition arises. There is no requirement that individual instructions be witnessed. Accordingly, you may make new individual instructions, or you may add to or revoke any previous instructions included in any advance health care directive you may have previously made. If you have an advance directive, this will not revoke the power of attorney for health care included in your last previous advance directive that you have executed.


Of course, the best way to accomplish these matters is to execute a new advance directive
(examples are in the handbook starting on page 158) with some explicit instructions relating to Covid 19 or any other concerns. However if you do not have witnesses/notary, to start, ask yourself, “What matters to me?,” then put it in writing (for example in the form found on page 192 of the handbook or just in your own handwriting) or provide them orally to health care providers, your agent, guardian, or surrogate. Make sure to sign and date what you wrote.


For a specific Covid 19 Addendum and more information, see the following external websites:


Compassion and Choices Advance Directive Covid 19 Addendum at

Kokua Mau Advance Care Planning in Hawai`i, Including Advance Directives, POLST Forms and Covid 19 Resources at www.kokuamau.org


Aloha     Services     What Is Elder Law?     Classes     Forms

Deciding to Navigate Elder Care     Deciding What to Do and Why Not Now?

COVID-19     Publications     Donations     Staff     Location & Parking     Resources & Links

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