Advance care planning is an ongoing process that involves the patients, their family, members, and health care providers, making plans for the patients’ current and future medical care.
It should be proactive, appropriately timed and integrated into routine care. Furthermore, it should be revisited every time a person’s medical condition changes. It reflects a patient’s goals, values, and cultural beliefs, which drive his or her specific medical treatment decisions that can be recorded in an advance directive.
There are various kinds of advance directives, but only two types are recognized by state law in the United States:
- Living Will: Lays outpatients’ preferences for life-sustaining treatments and resuscitation. This may cover choice of hospitalization, artificial tube feeding, dialysis, etc
- Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care: Designates a choice of surrogate decision makers
Advance Directives (AD) are completed while a person can still make his or her own decisions with regard to his or her future medical care in the event he or she loses the capacity to make such decisions. ADs can be revoked orally by the patient at any time.
Advance Care Planning effectively improves multiple outcomes, including reduction in hospitalization at end of life, less intensive treatments at end of life, increased the likelihood of dying in their preferred place, increased satisfaction with the quality of care and decreased the risk of stress, anxiety, and depression in surviving relatives of deceased persons.
If you have any further questions with regard to this topic, please contact our office.