Advance Care Planning
At Mercy Health, we want to help you plan for you and your family's future. Since no one can predict an accident or illness, taking the proper steps in ensuring that your health care preferences are met is very important. We want to help you start the process of advance care planning. Advance Care Planning is a way for you to discuss with your loved ones what your health care preferences are and what should happen in case any situation leaves you unable to make decisions for yourself.
As an adult with the ability to make your own medical decisions, you can accept, refuse, or stop medical treatment. If you lose the ability to make your own medical decisions (for instance, because of an accident or sudden illness), someone else will have to make those decisions for you. You can choose the person you want to make those decisions – called your “Patient Advocate” – and give that person information about your preferences, values, beliefs, wishes and goals that will help him or her make the decisions you would want.
You should thoughtfully identify your personal values, beliefs, wishes, and treatment goals regarding end of life care. With those values and beliefs in mind, you should then choose your Patient Advocate. Your Patient Advocate needs to learn your treatment goals and values, and be willing to act on your behalf, if and when necessary.
After choosing your patient advocate, there are three documents that need to be filled out and reviewed together.
After going over these forms with your patient advocate, the documents must be signed in the presence of at least two witnesses and a copy of the forms should be given to your primary care provider.
(Don't have a primary care provider? Find one here > ). You can also provide a copy to your preferred hospital. Keeping a copy on file for yourself and your patient advocate is highly recommended.
Please note that the forms require official signatures. You can print and fill out the forms by hand, or type in the required information, save a digital copy for your records to edit as needed, then print and sign.
Once your Advance Directive is complete, we recommend also completing this Advance Directive Wallet Card.
Keep this card with you at all times, so that health care providers are aware you have an advance directive and how they can get in contact with the right people.
More Information and Resources
Making Choices Michigan offers additional resources for advanced care planning, including education, classes, assistance and support.
Visit the Making Choices Michigan website to learn more >