Advance Care Directives

October 16, 2015 | American Medical Association

Patients have a right to take an active role in their own health care. Unfortunately, there are times, such as sudden illness or an accident, when this is not possible.

AMA LogoAdvance care planning affords patients the opportunity to exercise their right to make determinations regarding their medical care in advance in the event they become incapable of active participation in health care decisions.

The process provides individuals with the opportunity to determine their goals regarding health and medical treatment based on personal values, attitudes, and beliefs surrounding health care, illness, and death. It also enables individuals to communicate their wishes to their primary care physician, their proxy, and loved ones.

As a result of this process, if a patient becomes incapacitated, parties involved in the patient’s ca
re should have a common understanding of the patient’s health care wishes and what the patient would have wanted.

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