What is advance care planning?
18-year-old and older patients are legally able to make their own healthcare decisions. Advance care planning is a way to plan for future healthcare choices. The best time to think and talk to family about medical decisions is when the patient is well rather than in a time of medical crisis.
There are two major types of advance directives:
- Designation of Healthcare Surrogate
- Living Will.
The Designation of Healthcare Surrogate is a legal form that lets you name another person who can make medical decisions for you if you are unable to speak for yourself. If you want your legal "next of kin" (your parents, for instance) to make these decisions for you then you do not need to complete the form.
A Living Will allows you to choose what medical care you would or would not want if you could not speak for yourself.
The All Children's Pastoral Care Department can give you an Advance Directive form. One of the chaplains will be glad to help you with this process or with any questions you have. To talk with a chaplain, please call (727) 767-4258 (or extension 74258 from a hospital phone).