Advance Care Planning

WEEKLY COMMUNICATOR (300 x 100 px) (200 × 100 px) (1)

DEFINITIONS

  • Advance care planning – Making decisions related to end-of-life care
  • Advance directives – Legal documents to inform others of an individual's end-of-life wishes
  • Living Will – Legal document describing medical decisions surrounding what is and is not wanted for treatment if the person is dying, unconscious, or unable to voice decisions
  • Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPA) – A trusted individual chosen to make healthcare decisions if someone is unable to do so for themselves
  • Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form – Instructs medical personnel not to take action to restart the heart if it stops. The form is yellow in color and may be included in the Living Will, but having the separate form helps avoid confusion in a medical emergency
  • Medical Order for Scope of Treatment (MOST) form – A medical order signed by a provider and used to document medical wishes surrounding life support. The form is hot pink in color.

THINGS TO CONSIDER

  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) – Physical actions taken to restore heartbeat and breathing
  • Ventilator – Mechanical breathing support
  • Tube feeding – Liquid nutrition administered through a tube placed in the stomach
  • Intravenous fluids – Hydration provided through a needle placed in a vein of the body
  • Comfort care – Treatments such as pain medication to minimize discomfort
  • Organ donation – Organ or tissue donation can be designated in the Living Will or the HCPA document. Registration can also be done through the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

SPECIALTY PROVIDERS

  • Palliative care – Specialists who help plan for quality-of-life goals and provide comfort care while continuing medical treatments.
  • Hospice care – Specialists who help plan for quality-of-life goals and provide comfort care without treatments to cure a life-threatening illness

RESOURCES

North Carolina

South Carolina

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