If you were unable to communicate your wishes about your health care, would your loved ones know exactly what you want or don’t want? Who would you want to speak for you about your preferences if you were unable to speak for yourself?
Advance Care Planning is the process of making decisions about the healthcare you would want to receive if you were to be faced with a medical crisis. These decisions are based on your personal values, preferences, and the discussions that you have with your loved ones. Thinking about the things that matter most to you in your life is the starting point for making decisions about your health and the types of treatment you might want. This may include conversations about:
- What do I do in my everyday life that makes my life worth living?
- What have my experiences been with illness how are they are part of how I look at health care decisions?
- What are the types of life-sustaining treatments that are available to me?
- What types of treatment would I want or would I NOT want if I am ever facing a life-limiting illness.
Part of Advance Care Planning includes sharing your personal values and wants with your loved ones and completing an Advance Directive. In an Advance Directive you will put into writing what types of treatment you would, or would not, want to receive and who you chose to speak for you if should you be unable to speak for yourself.