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OSS powering free and open source Advanced Directives
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free and open source advanced advance directives

I would like to die peacefully with Thomas Tallis on my iPod before the disease takes me over and I hope that will not be for quite some time to come, because if I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, then suddenly every day would be as precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice.

-Terry Pratchett

why are advance directives so complicated?

We live in an era when 5th degree friends are alerted on their mobile devices at near the speed of light with snapshots of one's meals, ubiquitous government surveillance apparatuses that would make the most elite of Nazi or Soviet secret police overflow with jealousy, and both nearly the entirety of the world's collective cinema and door-delivered oreos are one click away. Yet when it comes to some of the most important of life's decisions, such as advanced directives or DNR verifications, these are often transmitted via crumpled loose paper that follows patients only after a significant delay from their hospital arrival.

general pitfalls of advance directives

  • accessibility
    • many do not have advance directives when they would prove of the most utility
    • those who have advance directives do not always have these communicated to health care providers in extreme circumstances when they would be of the greatest value
  • lack of nuance for the experienced *not easy to stipulate treatment measures to be undertaken based on evidence-based prognostication measures
  • lack of lay understanding
    • many may not understand the basics of advance directives or code status
    • those not in healthcare may create advance directives without understanding what they are signing

how we attempt to improve advance directives

  • provide advance directive templates
  • develop a framework for easily storing and rapidly retrieving advance directives
  • develop tools to dynamically generate advance directives with the inclusion of algorithmic treatment directives (e.g. an intracranial hemorrhage grade 5 should result in complete cessation of therapies aimed at exclusively at life extension)
  • provide resources to make it easier for laypeople to make and understand healthcare directives, and reduce misunderstanding of advance directive content and implications
  • accomplish the above via an open collaborative framework under the unrestrictive BSD license

project drafts / links


  • authors/contributors accept no liability for how site/code/directives are used
  • code/documents associated with this project presently intended only for research (non-clinical) purposes
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