About Advance Care Planning

Making your wishes known is often termed “Advance Care Planning”.

Experts agree that the time to discuss your views about end-of-life care and to learn about the end-of-life options available is before a life-threatening illness occurs or a crisis hits.

By preparing in advance, you can avoid some of the uncertainty and anxiety associated with not knowing what you or your family member wants. Instead, you can make educated decisions that include the advice and input of the person needing care. Let your family members and physician know what your preferences of treatment would be if confronting a very serious illness.

There are various tools available to help with learning what options to explore. Most importantly, discuss wishes regarding the type of care you want or do not want. Identify who should be the primary decision maker if you are not able to communicate. These discussions are most helpful if they are done early and are communicated to those who are close to you and your family physician.

To learn more about Advance Care Planning, visit Advance Care Planning website.

Advance Directives

Advance directives are a patient’s formal or informal instructions concerning expectations of care and choice of treatment options in response to potential illnesses or conditions (legal connotations vary by jurisdiction; includes a living will).

Treatment and Care Preferences

You, your health care provider and your loved ones need to talk about the various choices related to treatment and care to which you have access and the implications of such interventions. Hospice palliative care is about options — choosing the kind of skilled, competent care that meets an individual’s particular needs and takes into account his or her social and family situation. It is about choice, teamwork, care of the whole person, comfort, compassion, communication and quality of life.

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BC Ministry of Health