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"Definition of Advanced Care Planning - Advanced Care - Pre-Planning"

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Updated: October 12, 2006

Definition: Involves taking the time to learn about end-of-life care options and services before a health crisis.

Advanced or Pre-planning involves making choices based on a person's priorities, beliefs and values and sharing his or her wishes in writing through an advance directive.

Advance Care Planning can and should include discussions and document plans that address the "ifs" and ambiguities of living with chronic illness.

Topics to discuss are numerous and should include the role of the family, their interests, well-being their authority to revise advance care planning documents. Discussion should take place about CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), DNR ("do not resuscitate") and respirators. Other topics to consider include hospital transfers and placement issues (including home), how assets and benefits are to be used and a variety of treatment options.

The treatment plans within advance care planning can include pain management, hydration issues, artificial nutrition, blood transfusions, organ and tissue donation and medical device donation.

Advance Care Planning can even include funeral and memorial services as well as final disposition plans whether cremation or burial.

Sources:
NHPCO. "Put It In Writing" Campaign. 2005. At: http://www.nhpco.org/i4a/pages/Index.cfm?pageid=4566
Lynn J. Schuster JL. Improving Care for the End of Life: 5.2 Use or Adapt Comprehensive Advance Care Planning Forms. At: http://www.mywhatever.com/cifwriter/content/66/4220.html

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