Consumer’s Tool Kit for Health Care Advance Planning
If you are looking at this tool kit, you are either thinking of making a health care advance directive (such as a living will or durable power of attorney for health care), or you may have already signed one. In either case, you should be aware that just having a written advance directive by itself does not ensure that your wishes will be understood and respected. Studies have shown that standard advance directive forms do little to influence end-of-life decisions without: (1) informed, thoughtful reflection about your wishes and values, and (2) personal communication between you and your likely decision-makers before a crisis occurs.
Why a Tool Kit?
Good advance planning for health care decisions is, in reality, a continuing conversation--about values, priorities, the meaning of one's life, and quality of life. To help you in this process, this tool kit contains a variety of self-help worksheets, suggestions, and resources. There are 10 tools in all, each clearly labeled and user-friendly. The tool kit does not create a formal advance directive for you. Instead, it helps you do the much harder job of discovering, clarifying, and communicating what is important to you in the face of serious illness.
List of “Tools” for Health Care Advance Planning
There are 10 "Tools" in this Tool Kit. You can download them as one complete or 10 separate pdfs.
- Tool #1
How to Select Your Health Care Agent or Proxy
- Tool #2
Are Some Conditions Worse than Death?
- Tool #3
How Do You Weigh Odds of Survival?
- Tool #4
Personal Priorities and Spiritual Values Important to Your Medical Decisions
- Tool #5
After Death Decisions to Think About Now
- Tool #6
Conversation Scripts: Getting Past the Resistance
- Tool #7
The Proxy Quiz for Family & Physician
- Tool #8
What to Do After Signing Your Health Care Advance Directive
- Tool #9
Guide for Health Care Proxies
- Tool #10
Resources: Advance Planning for Health Care (updated January '13)