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Advance Care Planning


What follows is the first part of a publication from the NIH and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Click HERE to go to their website where you can read the complete article and/or download a PDF version of the article.

  • What is Advance Care Planning?
  • Decisions That Could Come Up Near Death
  • Getting Started
  • Making Your Wishes Known
  • Selecting Your Healthcare Proxy
  • Making It Official
  • After You Set Up Your Advance Directive
  • Still Not Sure?
  • Looking Toward the Future
  • For More Information
Advance care planning is not just about old age. At any age, a medical crisis could leave someone too ill to make his or her own healthcare decisions. Even if you are not sick now, making healthcare plans for the future is an important step toward making sure you get the medical care you would want, even when doctors and family members are making the decisions for you.

More than one out of four older Americans face questions about medical treatment near the end of life but are not capable of making those decisions. This tip sheet will discuss some questions you can think about now and describe ways to share your wishes with others. Write them down or at least talk about them with someone who would make the decisions for you. Knowing how you would decide might take some of the burden off family and friends.

Atul Gawande discusses end-of-life care on the Daily Show

By Meghana Keshavan From MedCityNews October 7,2014

The ever-prolific Atul Gawande chatted it up last night with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show, promoting his latest book, “Being Mortal.” The two discussed end-of-life care – and how patients and physicians should temper their pursuit of “doing whatever they can” in favor of living out life in a more meaningful way. For instance, Gawande noted that at the end of the 1990s, 17 percent of Americans died at home. The rest were in institutions.

“That’s not the way most people want to go,” Gawande said. Read the rest of this entry