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Advanced Care Planning

Advanced care planning allows patients to plan for future medical care. Advanced care planning is a process of communicating your wishes to your physician, other members of the health care team and your family. It is not just completing legal documents, but rather providing a plan for peace of mind so that you can live more fully in the present.

The palliative care team can facilitate discussions related to decisions regarding treatment or changes in the direction of care. By learning about choices that you might want for your care, taking the time to think about these decisions ahead of time, and letting others know about your wishes allows you to have control over how you are treated.

It can be hard for you to think about what you might want if you were in a terminal condition, but having a plan for the future can ease the burden of having to make these choices when you and/or your family are coping with a crisis.

In the State of Ohio, there are three forms of advance directives:

  • Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: a document appointing a person as your healthcare agent when you are unable to speak for yourself. Your agent does not decide for you, but does the best he or she can to speak in your voice, honoring your values and wishes
  • Living Will: a document that gives a written set of specific instructions about your wishes under potential circumstances. This document lets you give written directions about your care when you are terminally ill or in a permanently unconscious state and unable to speak for yourself.
  • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) Order: a document that allows you choices about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Advanced care planning can be a gift to your and your family. This offering can be utilized by any patient or family, whether their illness is curable or even if it is not.

Palliative care will serve you by working with your primary medical team to assure your goals of care are met.