Advance Care Planning

Empowering Patients to Choose Medical Treatment Options

Elderly Couple Consulting Social Worker

Advance care planning allows you to make decisions about the medical care you receive, and to communicate those decisions if you become unable to speak for yourself. By law, you have the right to choose or refuse medical care based on your personal values, beliefs, and any other factors that are important to you.

Why is Advance Care Planning Important?

If you are in an accident, suffer a job-related injury, or have a health condition that leaves you unable to communicate your wishes for medical treatments, who will speak for you? Through advance care planning, you can establish advance directives that tell your family, friends and healthcare providers what your choices are for continuing or withdrawing medical treatments.

Young woman unconscious on gurneyA woman is involved in a severe car accident; she is unconscious with life-threatening injuries. Physicians say that she will die unless she has an immediate operation, but the surgery will cause permanent loss of motor functions; for the rest of her life she will need assistance to walk, eat, bathe, toilet, and perform daily activities. What would the woman prefer for her life? What should her family decide?

Forms and Worksheets

Advance Care Planning begins with exploring your beliefs and values in order to make decisions about the medical care you would prefer; the best time to consider treatment options is while you are well, clear minded, and before a crisis occurs. The following guides contain forms and worksheets that you can download to help you choose medical procedures in advance.