What is Advance Care Planning

Advance Care Planning allows you to communicate your end-of-life medical care wishes before you lose your ability to communicate. It facilitates ongoing meaningful conversations by identifying your values and beliefs around medical care decisions.

Why Advance Care Planning?

  • Can prevent unwanted procedures before an illness or serious medical condition.
  • Peer to Peer conversations offer a safe, comfortable format to discuss healthcare decisions.
  • Self-advocacy encourages your healthcare team to support your personal values and healthcare goals.

Advance Care Documents

Power of Attorney (POA)

A POA is a notarized document that assigns authority to an adult at least 18 years of age allowing her or him to make decisions regarding your money or property. This document ceases to be in effect at the time of death.

Living Will

A living will is a document that expresses your artificial nourishment preference in the event you are in a terminal or persistent vegetative state. In the event you are certified by your treating physician and another physician to have a terminal and irreversible condition, and you cannot communicate: Do you want the feeding tube to continue. It is completed with your primary care physician or attorney.

Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (MOST)

A MOST expresses the patient’s preferences concerning end of life treatment, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), transfer to hospital facilities, and other end of life issues. A MOST does not replace a living will, it works with it to more fully capture your end of life treatment desires. It is signed by you and your physician.

Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Directives and Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Orders

These orders specify that in the even your heart stops or you stop breathing, you do not wish to have CPR or other methods of restarting your heart and breathing. These directives need to be issued by your doctor. If you do not have a Living Will or a CPR/DNR Directive, the standards of medical practice will be in effect and medical professionals will be required to make all reasonable efforts to restart your heart in the event it stops.

Medical Power of Attorney

This document appoints your desired agent to speak for you regarding medical treatment and decisions in the event you cannot speak for yourself. Therefore, your agent can make medical decisions on your behalf. It is very important to discuss your desires with your agent and loved ones. Your agent can only do what you want if they know what you want.

Five Wishes

Five wishes is an advance directive document that addresses and documents your personal, emotional and spiritual needs, as well as your medical wishes. It also allows you to choose the person you want to make healthcare decision for you in you are not able to make them for yourself. Five Wishes encourages you to talk with your family, friends and doctor and tell them exactly how you wish to be treated if you become seriously ill. This directive can be very helpful for family members since they will no longer be required to make difficult choices and determine your wishes about your healthcare without sufficient information.

Proxy Decision Making, Regular Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA), Guardian Appointment, and the Federal Patient Self-Determination Act (PSDA)

These are all other avenues for discussion with your Attorney. To plan for healthcare decisions, individuals in hospice need to be able to understand their treatment options and be able to express their values and wishes.