Welcome,

Planning My Way (PMW) is a project of the Cunniff-Dixon Foundation in collaboration with Robert Pearlman, MD, MPH, of the University of Washington and Melissa Bottrell, MPH, PhD of Ethics Quality Consulting. The vision, research, and testing of PMW originated with Dr. Pearlman and colleagues several years ago involving Veterans and their family members; and received broad review from a diverse panel of end-of-life and ethics experts including clinicians, clergy and consumer advocates. Our partnership helped bring that work forward to a consumer-oriented print and digital workbook experience that helps individuals and families think about, learn and communicate what matters to them as they contemplate both legal and supporting future health care directives. The mission of the Cunniff-Dixon Foundation is to enrich the Doctor-Patient relationship near the end of life by fostering human development in medicine and supporting and funding projects relating to Palliative Care. Learn more at: www.cunniffdixon.org.

While forms like advance directives or living wills can address legal requirements to support your health care wishes, they may not give your family or your doctor peace of mind that they are abiding by your wishes when they have to make hard decisions. The advance care planning worksheets in Planning My Way help you refine and personalize your instructions. In addition, writing a personal letter to your family, or creating an audio or video recording, helps them feel confident that they are doing the best they can to follow your wishes.

Depending on your personal health circumstances, different worksheets might be most helpful in communicating your wishes to your spokesperson, loved ones, and health care providers.

Start your advance care plan by identifying your health care circumstances.
While Healthy
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While Living With a Significant Medical Condition.
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For Mental Healthcare
Get Started
For Care Near The End of Life
Get Started

What is Advance Care Planning (ACP)?

Only one person is truly qualified to tell your health care providers how you feel about different issues—and that’s YOU.

Some people believe that doctors know best and should make all the decisions. However, a patient’s values and goals are very important and should guide decisions about their treatment. Your health care providers have technical knowledge and years of experience. But without your help, they can’t know what’s best for you given your specific medical situation.

Every patient is different. Two patients with the same condition can have very different ideas about what kind of treatment they want. Have you thought about what kinds of medical care you would choose if you couldn’t tell your providers what you wanted?

Through advance care planning, you can help ensure that your wishes will guide your future health care.

  • 1. Choosing a spokesperson.
  • 2. Thinking about your wishes.
  • 3. Talking about your views.
  • 4. Completing an advance directive.
  • 5. Creating a personal letter or audio or video recording.

Why advance care planning (ACP)?

Only one person is truly qualified to tell your health care providers how you feel about different issues—and that’s YOU. Through advance care planning, you can help ensure that your wishes will guide your future health care.

Other reasons for planning ahead are:
  • To help you obtain the treatment and care you want, and avoid treatments that you do not want
  • To reduce the stress and burden on your loved ones
  • To reduce the risk of conflict in future medical decisions (between family members or between health care providers and family members).