Advance Care Planning and Advance Directives
Advance Care Planning calls us to our Values:
Service to the Poor reminds us of our commitment to those who are not only economically poor but spiritually poor, by providing opportunities to talk about their health care hopes, fears, wishes and goals.
Reverence affirms that each person comes to us with a unique story, one that is to be heard and honored. Advance Care Planning calls health care providers to respect each life in order to help patients and families prepare for the end of life.
Integrity confirms that our words and actions should be consistent with our values, that we are honest and address the capabilities and limit of medicine with sincere concern .
Wisdom affirms our commitment to excellence in service and performance improvement. Health care is complex and having been entrusted with the care of those in need, we are asked to seek opportunities to improve care coordination.
Creativity inspires us to seek new approaches, to share our knowledge as well as our challenges, to be supportive to patients, families and colleagues, to be open to new ideas and initiatives with attention to enabling and empowering people to voice their wishes through Advance Care Planning.
Dedication reinforces the meaning of our work with patients and families as well as our role in our communities. Dedication calls us to ensure that Ministry Health Care is aware of patient wishes for end of life care and able to honor those wishes in each care setting.
We often take for granted that when medical decisions need to be made, we will be able to make decisions for ourselves. Yet, many of us will be asked to make medical decisions for our loved ones. Often family members say,
“I wish we would have talked about this, so I would have known what [Mom] wanted.”
Talking about your health care wishes may not be easy, but it will help your family understand what is important to you. It gives you a chance to share your health care wishes with your family and your providers.
Having conversations and completing an advance directive document is often called Advance Care Planning. Advance Care Planning also helps you and your family better understand your health care choices and prepare for the decisions you may face as you live with illness.
Ministry Health Care and Columbia St. Mary’s offer this information to help you discuss your choices and write an Advance Directive. Take some time to review Practical Guide to Advance Care Planning and Advance Directives and the information on this webpage.