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A counselor helps a patient with Advance Care Planning at Moffitt

At Moffitt Cancer Center, we encourage patients to be active participants in their health care decisions. We respect your right to make decisions about your own health. Our goal is to help you understand your current health condition and treatment options so you can make informed choices. When making decisions about your health care, it is important to consider:

  • How much detail do you want to know about your situation?
  • How much information do you want your family to know?
  • Do you want your family or a close friend to be involved in discussions and decisions about your care?
  • What kind of care would you want if you couldn’t speak for yourself?

Process of Advance Directives/Advance Care Planning

Advance care planning (ACP) is a process of understanding, reflecting on, and discussing future medical preferences with your loved ones and treatment team in the event you could not speak for yourself. It is a vitally important process that helps you review and document how you want to be cared for. ACP includes:

  • Understanding your healthcare treatment options
  • Clarifying your healthcare goals
  • Weighing your options about what kind of care and treatment you would or would not want
  • Making decisions about whether you want to appoint someone to speak on your behalf if you are unable to express your wishes
  • Putting your wishes in writing
  • Communicating your wishes and sharing these documents with your family, friends, clergy, other advisers, physicians and other healthcare professionals

There are two ways you can document and arrange for your healthcare decisions:

Living Will and Advance Directive — A Living Will provides your instructions about life-prolonging procedures should doctors determine that you have a terminal condition, an end-stage condition, or are in a persistent vegetative state.

Health Care Surrogate — This document identifies the person you have chosen to act on your behalf if you are unable to make or communicate your own health care decisions. You can also choose an alternate healthcare surrogate.

What’s most important is that you know what you want and communicate it. You have the right to change or cancel these documents at any time. Moffitt honors advance directives in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. Your physicians and other members of your healthcare team are available to help you with the many healthcare decisions you will be making. You and your family can also turn to Moffitt’s certified advance care planning facilitators for help.

To schedule an advance care planning session or obtain more information please call 813-745-8407 to speak with a social worker or chaplain. Drop-ins are welcome too. Information is also available in the Patient Library and Welcome Center on the second floor of the Muriel Rothman Building.