Overview: Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning
is a process

As an adult with the ability to make your own medical decisions, you can accept, refuse, or stop medical treatment. If you lose the ability to make your own medical decisions (for instance, because of an accident or sudden illness), someone else will have to make those decisions for you. You can choose the person you want to make those decisions – called your “Patient Advocate” – and give that person information about your preferences, values, beliefs, wishes and goals that will help him or her make the decisions you would want.

You should thoughtfully identify your personal values, beliefs, wishes, and treatment goals regarding end of life care. With those values and beliefs in mind, you should then choose your Patient Advocate. Your Patient Advocate needs to learn your treatment goals and values, and be willing to act on your behalf, if and when necessary.