Dec 4 2014

MarketWatch: What Happens if You Change Your Mind?

On MarketWatch today, reporter Elizabeth O’Brien asks the critical question MyDirectives seeks to answer each and every day: What happens if you change your mind?

In her piece, she emphasizes the concept that advance care planning must be initiated early, when we’re healthy and have time to think about our priorities, and revisited over time, as circumstances or our medical wishes change. “Everyone age 18 and over needs [an advance directive],” she writes. “Infirmities strike mainly the old, but accidents and illness strike people of all ages.”

She points out that digital advance directives are superior to paper versions because they are always accessible, anywhere, anytime, and can be easily updated as well as shared with medical providers and loved ones. 

“Everyone who files an advance directive away in a cabinet—and let’s face it, that’s most of us, if we had the foresight to create one at all—should remember this: ‘Advance care planning is not a moment in time,’ said Dr. Russell Portenoy, chief medical officer of MJHS Hospice in New York City. ‘It’s a process.’”

O’Brien cites MyDirectives as an ideal means of creating, storing and updating digital advance directives. She writes, “Once the directive is made, people should revisit it periodically—and especially after any serious medical diagnosis—to see if the document still represents their best thinking. is a website that offers consumers a free way to create what the company calls a Universal Advance Digital Directive—essentially, a cloud-based living will, health-care proxy and organ-donor form that is legal in all states. Consumers can log in to the site any time to review and change their responses to a series of questions about their priorities and wishes for care.

We hope that readers will take the increasing interest in being responsible for our own advance care planning to heart. O’Brien is right – the mere one-quarter of U.S. adults 18 and older with an advance directive is far too small. It’s time to take control over our own futures.


Advance Care Planning Advance Directives Elizabeth O'Brien MarketWatch Russell Portenoy

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