Advance Care Planning

Now more than ever, modern medicine is able to save and prolong lives for many people.

However, there are times when certain treatments will not prolong life or improve the quality of your life.

The best medical decisions result when you share your own personal beliefs and wishes with your physicians, nurses, and other clinicians, as well as family and friends.

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the process of planning ahead for medical care in the event you are unable to communicate your wishes to your family and health care providers. It is for all adults at all stages of health and involves the following:

  • Choosing a health care agent / Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care (DPOAH) to speak on your behalf if you are unable to speak for yourself
  • Sharing your values and wishes for future care with your health care agent / DPOAH, your family and health care providers
  • Recording these wishes in an advance directive (a legal document in which you record your health care agent and wishes for future health care)

What is an ACP conversation?

An advance care planning conversation provides you with the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on your goals, values and beliefs for future care
  • Understand possible health care situations and decisions
  • Choose and prepare your health care agent / DPOAH to make health care decisions that reflect your goals, values and beliefs
  • Document these goals in an advance directive

How do I attend an ACP conversation?

The Honoring Care Decisions program provides free individual advance care planning conversations with a trained advance care planning facilitator. Please contact Honoring Care Decisions to register for an advance care planning conversation.

How do I learn more about Advance Care Planning?

To help you learn more about Advance Care Planning, visit our Healthwise® Health Encyclopedia:

  • Read articles about writing an advance directive, choosing a health care agent, and more.
  • Watch a video about having Advance Care Planning conversations with your loved ones.