Advance Care Planning Is for Everyone (and It's Easier Than You Think)

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No matter your age, it’s smart to write down your wishes for medical care, choose someone to make decisions in the event you are unable to do so, and provide a signed copy to your doctor and family members. This way, others will not have to guess what you want if you are too sick or injured to tell them yourself.

A new Michigan Medicine toolkit makes it simple and straightforward to set up what’s known as an “advance directive.” You are welcome to use the templates with your own doctor, even if you are not a Michigan Medicine patient! One advantage of using the toolkit is that it meets the requirements to be a legal document in the state of Michigan.

To set up an advance directive, you’ll need to choose who you’d like to make your medical decisions if you are unable to do so and to decide what types of medical care you want if you become very sick or hurt. Then you’ll need to provide this information in writing to your doctor(s). It’s a good idea to share a copy with family and keep another in a safe, easily accessible place.

To get started, download the booklet or visit the Michigan Medicine advance directives page (even if you aren’t a Michigan Medicine patient). To learn more, visit Getting the Most Out of Your Health Care.