An advance care plan is a legal way to state your wishes at the end of your life. It tells your family and your doctor what to do if you can no longer say what you want.
An advance care plan tells your family and doctor your wishes about life support and other medical treatment. An advance care plan also allows you to appoint a person (called a substitute decision-maker or a health care agent) who can make treatment decisions for you when you can't speak for yourself.
If you do not have an advance care plan, decisions about your medical care may be made by someone who doesn't know you or what you would want.
It may help to think of an advance care plan as a gift to the people who care for you. If you have one, they won't have to make tough decisions by themselves.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if you have any questions.
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Current as of: September 24, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Jean S. Kutner, MD, MSPH - Geriatric Medicine, Palliative Medicine & Robin L. Fainsinger, MB, ChB, LMCC, CCFP - Palliative Medicine
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