Apr 15 2013

ER Doc: Not Having an Advance Directive is Like Going on a Trip without an Itinerary

Guest Post by Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy

Ever gone on a trip without an itinerary; without a plan? While it may sound adventurous, things seldom go well and usually go badly. You miss flight connections or don't know where the bus stop is, much less where the bus is going.

Sure, you can figure some things out along the way if you are enterprising, but it's a whole lot less stressful if you had planned things out ahead of time and thought about the route in advance.

The same goes for advance directives. Think of your own advance directive as your plans for arriving at your ultimate destination. Do you want the trip to be quiet and peaceful with a window view from your home and your family nearby? Or, do you prefer the company of strangers, albeit nice ones (nurses and hospital staff)? And, is your idea of a good end of life journey one that takes you on a tour of hospital suites, including a high tech pass through the ICU? Maybe you’re not sure and would like to visit a little of each?

Great! But to get what you want, to travel your own chosen path, you must book a pass – that is an advance directive.  Without an AD, your family, friends and healthcare providers (those who typically help with this journey) could become lost and put you on a pathway you never wanted. Worse, they may lie in bed awake at night and suffer long-term regrets about whether or not the journey they created for you was correct or not.

Don't be responsible for leaving those you love to muddle through without a map. Create an end of life plan for your own sake and for your family. Don't take this inevitable journey unprepared, without an itinerary – take the time to create your own advance directive today!

There is no time like the present. has made this process simple, straightforward and convenient with a completely secure online advance directive.

Clear questions allow you to create your own plans and then instantly share them with the people who matter most in critical decisions for your care – your loved ones and healthcare providers.

The best part about using to create your plan is that the service is free! You’re able to create your own itinerary and give your family peace of mind without charge. No travel agent in the world can compete with that!


Dr. Monica Williams-Murphy is an advance directive advocate; an author and a board certified Emergency Physician who has registered her own detailed advance directive online with She knows exactly who will speak for her if she cannot speak for herself and those healthcare proxies know exactly what to say and do. Dr. Williams-Murphy has also created two tools to help those who are making decisions in advance for themselvesor who are challenged to make wise decisions for another. For more information on Dr. Williams-Murphy’s work to prepare us for the end of life,


Emergency Room National Healthcare Decisions Day NHDD

Related Posts:

Mar 22 2018
Apr 17 2015
Apr 16 2015
Apr 13 2015
Jun 2 2014


  1. Ginny Zavacky posted at May 11 2013 03:37 PM
    Thanks so much for all you've done to promote this vital information - MUCH needed as i went through the agonizing process when my parents were dying and this is so simple! Is there something this easy now that my daughter is 19 and would like for me to have access should she have an accident or become gravely ill. I forget what needs to be signed for me to act on her behalf or even see her in the hospital Is it this same form?

Post a Comment: