My Life, My Choice
My Life, My Choice is a free advance care planning program offered by Empath Health. Advance care planning ensures your medical wishes are documented in the event you become unable to make and/or communicate your own decisions as the result of an illness or injury.
Benefits of Advance Care Planning
It is important to have an advance care plan in place so medical providers and loved ones know your wishes. Moreover, you can make decisions before emotions or duress can influence them. Planning also ensures you can designate a responsible and experienced healthcare surrogate. Lastly, your wishes are documented and kept on record so they are accessible if needed.
How to Begin Your Advance Care Plan
Educate yourself and start thinking about treatment options
- Explore treatment options and their impacts.
- Determine what type of care you do or do not want.
- Talk to your healthcare providers about your questions or concerns..
Make and communicate your choices
- Plan early and discuss your choices before a terminal diagnosis or an accident occurs.
- Provide documentation to your healthcare providers for your medical records.
- Communicate your wishes to family members, loved ones and healthcare surrogate.
- Share the location of vital records and documents with your healthcare surrogate and family..
Designate a healthcare surrogate
A healthcare surrogate (HCS) is the individual who will speak for you if you are unable. Healthcare surrogates must be:
- An adult (18 years or older).
- Accessible should the need arise for him or her to speak on your behalf.
- Willing to speak on your behalf even in the event of family conflict.
- Willing to speak with medical personnel about your plan of care.
- Willing to honor your wishes even if he or she disagree with your choices..
Create a living will
A living will is a legal document that defines the types of medical care you wish or do not wish to have if you become unable to make your own decisions. A living will is important because it:
- Is followed when you have reached the end stage of an illness or condition and the medical treatment would only prolong your natural dying.
- Applies only when you lose the capacity to make your own healthcare decisions and there is little or no chance of recovery.
- Is not invoked if your condition is deemed of having a reasonable chance of cure or improvement by your doctor and another physician.
- Will be followed by healthcare providers if it is a part of your medical records..
Let Us Help You
Our certified facilitators can help you develop a plan that is reflective of your goals, values and beliefs. Reach out to us for a personal appointment or schedule a free presentation at your place of business, congregation, civic group, adult living facility, neighborhood meeting or book club.
To schedule a presentation or contact us at (941) 893-6589, email to MLMC@EmpathHealth.org.