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Advance Directives
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Advance Directives

Ask yourself these two important questions:

  • Do you know what life sustaining treatments or interventions you would and would not want if you could not speak for yourself?
  • Would your loved ones know what you would and would not want?

Advance Care Planning (ACP) is a thoughtful process of planning for future medical care at end-of-life, or in the event you should become unable to make your own decisions due to a life-limiting illness or injury. It involves education, reflection, communication and documentation. It is a valuable tool for families as they face difficult decisions about caring for you in your final phase of life or in a life-limiting situation. Studies show that families who engage in the ACP process have less stress, confusion and guilt about their decisions.

10 Steps to Good Advance Care Planning

  • Understand the process (terminology, legalities, current health status, available tools)
  • Explore your values, beliefs, cultural perspectives and goals for future medical care
  • Appoint a health care surrogate to make decisions for you when you are too sick or hurt to speak for yourself
  • Make informed choices about medical treatment options (understanding the benefits and burdens of CPR, ventilators, feeding tubes, antibiotics, etc.)
  • Discuss your wishes with your surrogate, family, doctor(s), spiritual advisor and anyone else who may be involved in your care
  • Document your wishes in an advance directive
  • Execute your document: Sign and date the document and have it witnessed
  • Follow-up with doctors, clergy or other professionals to provide additional information or guidance, if needed
  • Make at least 10 copies to share with your doctor(s), family, and surrogate. Remember to keep a few on hand for admission to a hospital or other health care facility (a photo copy is as legal as the original)
  • Review and update your documents periodically, especially after major life events

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If you have any questions or need further assistance, please feel free to contact our individual facilities:

                    BayCare Surgery Center
                    2020 Trinity Oaks Boulevard, Trinity
                    (727) 372-4055

                    Bardmoor Surgery Center
                    8787 Bryan Dairy Road, Largo
                    (727) 394-5318

                    Carillon Surgery Center
                    900 Carillon Parkway, St. Petersburg
                    (727) 561-2710

                    Physicians Surgery Center
                    705 16th St. North, St. Petersburg
                    (727) 550-4500


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