Advance Care Planning Resources

National Healthcare Decisions Day Web site

April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day. The Web site for this national initiative has many useful links and resources.

Advance Directive Booklet (published by the Brigham and Women's Hospital)

A booklet in both English and Spanish, published by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, to help patients and family members understand and complete Health Care Proxy and Living Will forms.

Preparing to be a Health Care Proxy

A useful information sheet that explains what it means to serve as a health care proxy for someone close to you.

Hard Choices for Loving People

The link above is to a commercial Web site (A & A Publishers) that makes available a full-text PDF of the book Hard Choices for Loving People by Hank Dunn. This book covers the most common medical treatment decisions faced by those who are living with a life-threatening illness. CPR (resuscitation efforts), artificial feeding, hospitalization of an ill person and shifting to a hospice approach are all considered in depth. Besides these most common treatment decisions, there are sections on ventilators, dialysis, antibiotics and pain control. Also, at the end of the chapters on CPR, Artificial Feeding and Comfort Care/Hospice there is a section on making these treatment choices for children. 

Five Wishes

The non-profit Aging with Dignity publishes this living will form with detailed guidelines for helping patients think about how how they want to be treated if seriously ill and unable to speak for themselves. It includes medical, personal, emotional and spiritual needs and encourages people to discuss their wishes with their family and physician.

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