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Health Care Directives

Did you know, while 92 percent of Americans say it’s important to discuss their wishes for end-of-life care, only 32 percent have had such a conversation? And 95 percent of Americans say they would be willing to talk about their wishes, while 53 percent even say they’d be relieved to discuss it. (The Conversation Project National Survey, 2018)

What are your wishes towards the end of your life? What if you are unable to speak for yourself? Do your loved ones know what your wishes are for medical care? It is never too early to plan time to have these advance care planning conversations.

 What is Advance Care Planning?
Advance Care Planning is communicating to help people understand, reflect upon and discuss goals, values and beliefs for future health care decisions. Steps include:

– Think about your own healthcare decisions,

– Discuss your wishes with family/friends/loved ones and learn their wishes,

– Complete a healthcare directive to document your priorities and wishes,

– Encourage others to talk about advance care planning too.

What is an Advance Directive?
An advance care directive is a written legal document you prepare to appoint someone to speak for you when you cannot and to expresses how you want medical decisions made in the future should you not be able to make them yourself. No health care facility, health care professional or insurer can make you execute an advance directive as a condition of providing treatment or insurance. It is entirely your decision.

Most of our Benedictine communities in North Dakota and Minnesota have Certified Advance Care Planning Facilitators available to help you start the conversations should you or a loved one be interested in advance care planning. To start the process or ask questions, use the “Get In Touch” form on this page and ask to be connected with our Certified Advance Care Planning Facilitator. All Benedictine communities will have a Certified Advance Care Planning Facilitator on-site in the near future.

The following are links to organizations with valuable resources to help you and your loved ones start the advance care planning process and write your own advance care directive:

The Conversation Project® is a public engagement initiative with a goal that is both simple and transformative: to have every person’s wishes for end-of-life care expressed and respected.

Honoring Choices Minnesota and Honoring Choices North Dakota are organizations focused on helping every adult understand what Advance Care Planning is, and working with health care providers to make sure they offer assistance to all patients, and will honor your choices.

National Healthcare Directive Day was founded in 2008 by Nathan Kottkamp, a Virginia-based health care lawyer, to provide clear, concise, and consistent information on healthcare decision-making to both the public and providers/facilities through the widespread availability and dissemination of simple, free, and uniform tools (not just forms) to guide the process.

Respecting Choices® is an internationally recognized, evidence-based model of advance care planning that creates a healthcare culture of person-centered care—care that honors an individual’s goals and values for current and future health care.