Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): Advance Care Planning

Advance care planning is the process of thinking about and planning for your healthcare in the event that you become unable to make decisions about your own care. It involves thinking about the types of medical treatment you would want or not want in different situations, and communicating your wishes to your healthcare team and your loved ones. Advance care planning can be especially important for people with chronic or terminal illnesses, as it can help ensure that their wishes are respected and that they receive the care that aligns with their values and goals. It can also be helpful for anyone who wants to have more control over their healthcare decisions. Advance care planning typically involves: Identifying a healthcare proxy or agent: This is a person you designate to make decisions about your healthcare if you are unable to do so. Making a written advance directive: This is a legal document that outlines your healthcare wishes and can include a living will, which outlines the types of medical treatment you would want or not want in different situations, and a durable power of attorney for healthcare, which designates a healthcare proxy to make decisions on your behalf. Communicating your wishes to your healthcare team and loved ones: It’s important to discuss your advance care plans with your healthcare providers, as well as your family and close friends, so that everyone is aware of your preferences and can advocate for your care. Advance care planning is an ongoing process, and it’s important to review and update your plans as your healthcare needs and preferences change.

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