Advance Care Planning and Health Care Directives: Overview

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Advance care planning allows you to make your voice heard so your wishes are followed. You can provide clarity and understanding among family members, your doctor and health care team. Advance care planning involves these important steps:

  • Choose a health care agent – This person makes health care decisions for you if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
  • Engage in conversations – Discuss your values and wishes about future health care with your health care agent, doctor and other important people in your life.
  • Complete a Health Care Directive – This is a written plan for your future medical treatments.

If you do not have a written Health Care Directive, you will still receive medical treatment. Your health care team will listen to what people close to you say about your treatment wishes.