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It is important for everyone to think about and document his or her health care wishes. Advance care planning is the process of documenting what is important to you and your wishes regarding life goals. It can help ensure that your family and health care team understand your wishes for medical treatment.
Palliative care can:
Help you identify what matters most about your quality of life.
Discuss care plans with family members by participating in family meetings.
Facilitate communication between medical teams.
Help you to document your wishes in an advance directive.
A few common questions about advance directives:
What is an advance directive?
An advance directive is a legal document that allows you to list your preferences for medical decisions in the event you are unable to communicate or make decisions for yourself.
Who should complete an advance directive?
Everyone. It's important to revisit your advance directive to ensure the document reflects your current mindset, goals and values.
At a minimum, you should identify your surrogate decision maker. A surrogate decision maker is someone who can speak on your behalf when you are too sick to speak for yourself. You should also document your views regarding medical interventions when you are very sick or at the end of your life.
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