Getting Started with an Advance Care Plan

Unexpected emergency, critical or end-of-life medical situations can happen at any age, so all adults 18 and over, not just the sick or elderly, need an advance care plan.  You may know what kinds of medical treatments you want (or want to avoid) if you ever suffer a health emergency, but there may come a time when you are seriously injured or too ill to make and communicate your medical treatment goals, preferences and priorities.  If that happens, your advance care plan provides a record of your wishes so that your family, caregivers and doctors have a guide in making medical treatment decisions on your behalf that are consistent with your values, beliefs, and preferences. Having discussions about what treatments you would or would not choose and completing your advance care plan before a crisis occurs can give peace of mind to you and your family.  Having a digital version of your care plan, including clear video and audio messages to enhance the validity of your typed comments, can help reduce anguish, stress, conflict, and potential legal disputes associated with emergency, critical and end-of-life medical treatment decisions.

The time can vary somewhat. It depends on how prepared you are and how many questions you decide to answer. Usually, it takes between 15 minutes and an hour.  Some MyDirectives users take several days to complete their care plan because they want to think about the questions or talk to family members or their doctor.

No. MyDirectives lets you take your time. You can do as much or as little at a time as you like. There's no pressure - you can always go back and fill in missing information. If you do quit without finishing, you can resume at any time by clicking on the appropriate link on the My Home page and picking up where you left off.

Questions in this section refer to medical treatments and procedures you might face sometime in the future. You're asked to think carefully about the things in your life and health that you value most, whether you would want palliative or hospice care, the situations in which you would or would not want doctors to attempt CPR, and whether you want to be an organ donor. Some of these questions may be difficult to answer, and you may need to come back to them later. Take your time. It's important to think these things through. This will help ensure that when the time comes, your medical treatment goals, preferences and priorities will be clear.

Advance Care Plans, and Advance Medical Directives

How MyDirectives® and MyDirectives MOBILE™ Work

Security, Accessibility and Legality

Choosing a Healthcare Agent