Advance Care Planning

What is Advance Care Planning?

According to the Advance Care Directive Association Inc it means thinking about, discussing and writing down your wish for care or treatment if at a future time you are unable to speak for yourself because of illness or injury [1].

Advance Care Planning is not just for people with a diagnosis, it is useful for everyone.

People with chronic illness are especially well-served by making their wishes for treatment known to family or carers and formalising this with a Power of Attorney document and an Advance Health Directive. It is important to give attention to these matters before the person loses the capacity to make these decisions, as legally they cannot appoint an attorney after they lose capacity. To reduce stress and conflicts, it is wise to settle these matters when a person is sound of mind.

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document used to give permission to someone to conduct business or financial affairs on behalf of another person.

An Advance Health Directive is a legal document that enables an individual to give instructions about their healthcare, including special health matters, should they lose capacity to make their own decisions in these matters. Specific directions can be recorded about the care they would want and under what circumstances [2].

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