Advance Directive Information

An Advance Directive, also known as a Health Care Proxy or a Living Will in Massachusetts, promotes and maintains individual autonomy if an individual is unable to make decisions for themselves because of incapacitation. Even though Massachusetts allows for the creation of Health Care Proxy documents, the State does not recognize Living Wills.

Through a Health Care Proxy Form, an individual can appoint a proxy (Legally referred to as an “Agent”) who makes medical decisions on an individual’s behalf if they are incapacitated. Providers and health care facilities are required to abide by an individual’s Agent’s decisions in place of the individual’s decision regarding their care.

Additionally, an individual can draft and sign a Personal Directive, which will allow an individual’s Agent to use the wishes of an individual in the Personal Directive as a basis to make health care decisions on behalf of the individual, and to talk with others about the individual’s care. Alternatively, if the individual does not have an Agent, their Personal Directive allows their family, doctors, and care providers to match the care that the individual is provided to values and choices that the individual prefers.

Lastly, a Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (“MOLST”) is a document an individual can complete that provides instructions for health professionals regarding an individual’s care. The MOLST addresses an individual’s right to accept or refuse medical treatment. Because the MOLST requires a clinician’s signature and individuals may have questions regarding the form, it is important for individuals to discuss this document with their clinician, who can be a Physician, Nurse Practitioner, or Physician Assistant.

eternalHealth provides a Health Care Proxy Form and Personal Directive prepared by Honoring Choices of Massachusetts for individual use. Additionally, eternalHealth provides a link for individuals to access the most up-to-date MOLST form. These documents are listed below:

  1. Health Care Proxy Form
  2. Personal Directive
  3. Massachusetts Medical Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment


The information provided below does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. The content below is available for general informational purposes only and may not constitute the most up-to-date information. We also provide links to other third-party websites. The links are only for your convenience. We do not recommend, adopt, or endorse the contents of any third- party site. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any legal matter, including information and decisions regarding advance directives.
Page Last Updated On: February 13, 2023
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Tom Cunniffe

Tom Cunniffe

Director of Operations 

Tom Cunniffe comes to eternalHealth with over 20 years of healthcare operations’ experience, having held leadership positions in Call Center, Enrollment, Credentialing, UAT and Reimbursement teams. Tom has worked with Medicaid, Commercial and Medicare lines of business and has consistently built teams who are metrics driven with proven successful outcomes. Making sure our business strives for an efficient, best-in-class customer experience is at the center of Tom’s philosophy.

Tom has a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and a master’s in business administration from University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Tom Lawless

Tom Lawless

Chief Financial Officer

Tom Lawless has spent the past 20+ years building, sustaining, and growing new healthcare-related programs that balance fiscal responsibility & prudence with creativity & innovation, focusing on models of care that are novel, person-centered, and improve the social welfare of those who are served. He is very excited to continue doing so in his role as the Chief Financial Officer of eternalHealth.

Tom comes to eternalHealth from a not-for-profit, member-centric, health insurance cooperative. He helped the company continuously strive toward its dual goals of thriving financially, while keeping members at the very epicenter of its mission and service model. While there, Tom also spearheaded the creation of a brand new private, charitable foundation, which will be meaningfully giving back to those in need in the surrounding communities for years to come. Previously, Tom worked in the finance department of a successful hospice that provided high-quality care to persons experiencing their unique and poignant end-of-life journeys, assuring that the appropriate financing was always available. Tom’s career began as a civil servant in the Wisconsin Medicaid program, where he helped to create a program that expanded the institutional entitlement to care into home and community-based settings. Starting with only a blueprint in hand, the program now serves more than 57,000 frail elders and disabled adults and is considered a national model. Growing into a senior leadership role, Tom was a key architect of an innovative financing model, through which the public and private sectors successfully collaborated to better the lives of persons in great need.

Tom holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago, with additional graduate work in economics completed at the University Wisconsin-Madison.

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