Advance Care Planning

What is Advance Care Planning?

Advance Care Planning is a process of understanding, reflecting on, and discussing future medical decisions, including end of life preferences.

It may include:

  • Understanding your health care condition and treatment options.
  • Clarifying your health care wishes and defining what “living well” means to you.
  • Weighing your options about what types of care and treatment you would want or not want.
  • Choosing a health care agent (who can speak for you if you become injured or ill and unable to communicate), and deciding to complete an advance directive.
  • Communicating your wishes and sharing any documents with your family, friends, clergy, advisors, physicians, and other health care professionals.

Important Facts

  • 80% of people say that if seriously ill, they would want to talk to their doctor about end-of-life care, but only 7% report having had an end-of-life conversation with their doctor. 
  • 82% of people say it’s important to put their wishes in writing while only 23% have actually done it. 
  • 75% of physicians, whose patient had an advance directive, were not aware that it existed. 

Chaplain Mark Wenzel is a certified Advance Care Planning Facilitator for Honoring Choices Wisconsin, an initiative of the Wisconsin Medical Society. He is able to facilitate individual and group conversations.