Advanced Care Planning
Advance Care Planning are important directives, sometimes addressed in living wills that contain written statements that inform and instruct others of individuals’ preferences concerning future health care treatment.
They are used for future reference in situations where a loved one may be unable to make their wishes known. The Plantagenet Family Health Team strongly encourages all patients to discuss Advance Directives for Care options with their families and attending physicians. These options may include supportive or palliative care, active treatment, transfer to acute care and, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Thoughtful discussion and reflection typically lead to reasonable and appropriate decisions regarding Advance Directives of Care.
Specifying your wishes in terms of treatment before a crisis occurs greatly assists your health care team in knowing what kind of interventions you would like. Without Advance Directives for Care, the team will make the best decision possible in light of the situation but cannot guarantee that the decision will match exactly what you would have wanted had your wishes been known. Sharing your Advance Directives for Care with your health care team is the best way to make sure you receive only the treatment you want.
Legislation makes it possible to appoint someone in advance to make healthcare decisions on your behalf when you are no longer capable to do so. This is called Power of Attorney for Personal Care, and the person who will make the decisions is referred to as the Substitute Decision Maker. The concept is similar to Power of Attorney for Financial Matters and does not need to be arranged through a lawyer.
If no Power of Attorney for Personal Care has been appointed, legislation allows for decisions to be made by a substitute decision maker, usually the next-of kin, based on what the individual would have wanted if he or she had been able to decide, or if this is not known, on what is in his or her best interest.