An advance care plan is a summary of the kinds of medical care you want if you aren't able to make decisions for yourself. It tells your family and your doctor what to do if you're badly hurt or have a serious illness that keeps you from saying what you want.

Advance care plans also let you appoint somebody to make health care decisions for you if you can't make them for yourself. The designated person is called a substitute decision-maker, or a health care representative, agent, or proxy.

Current as of: October 6, 2017

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Shelly R. Garone, MD - Palliative Medicine & Jean S. Kutner, MD, MSPH - Geriatric Medicine, Palliative Medicine & Robin L. Fainsinger, MB, ChB, LMCC, CCFP - Palliative Medicine