Advance care planning offers you a peace of mind that your family and physician will honor your preferences about life-sustaining treatments. The term advance care planning refers to legal documents that lay out your wishes for medical care in case you are unable to make or communicate your decisions directly.
A health care directive allows you to appoint an agent to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to do that yourself. You want to choose someone who knows you very well and is able to make the health decision you would make if you could. There is a section in the health care directive where you can name the person.
In Minnesota, the term used most frequently for legal advance care planning documents is a health care directive. A health care directive spells out if you would like artificial life support if you become unconscious or are unable to speak for yourself. It also details other types of health care you prefer under these situations.
Here are some important actions to keep in mind as you complete your health care directive.
The Minnesota Board on Aging provides a booklet, called Planning Ahead, that describes and explains the legal and related issues that older adults fact.
Honoring Choices Minnesota is a statewide initiative that encourages families and communities to have discussions about end-of-life care choices.