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Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT IS HONORING CHOICES MINNESOTA?
Honoring Choices Minnesota (HCM) is a collaborative project between Twin Cities Medical Society, the health care community and the community at large to bring advance care planning to the metro area. Honoring Choices Minnesota is partnering with Twin Cities Public Television in a public engagement campaign to involve the broader communities in Minnesota.
The objective is to ensure that an individual's choices are honored in all circumstances and that those choices accurately reflect their preferences and values. This is accomplished through a shared decision-making process and ongoing conversations with families and loved ones.
How does Honoring Choices Minnesota engage the community?
Honoring Choices Minnesota trains facilitators, who are educated in how to introduce end-of-life care conversations with individuals and families. These conversations or discussions usually result in a health care directive. Facilitators guide families in making certain their wishes are shared with family members, loved ones and their care providers.
Anyone can be trained as a facilitator, but those trained often includes social workers, nurses, hospice workers, chaplains, parish nurses, etc.
WHAT IS ADVANCE CARE PLANNING?
Advance care planning for future medical care is a process of discussion and shared decision-making among family and loved ones and your health care providers, resulting in a set of wishes or choices which express your health care values. These values are commonly identified in a health care directive document.
What is the most important part of an advance care planning conversation?
Having the conversation with loved ones and your provider about end-of-life choices is the most critical part. Advance care planning is really a conversation (discussion) that shares and identifies your wishes regarding end of life care with your loved ones and your health care provider.
After having this in-depth conversation with loved ones and identifying your preference, the next step is to share your wishes with loved ones and your provider both verbally and in a document called a health care directive.
WHAT IS A HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE?
A health care directive is a legal document which appoints an agent (surrogate) to make health care decisions if the person making the directive cannot. A health care directive states the person's choices regarding life-prolonging treatments such as feeding, respiratory support and resuscitation. It may include statements about what makes life worth living or beliefs about when life would no longer be worth living. It may include preferences about specific treatment choices regarding care and comfort measures, as well as religious choices and/or organ donation statements.
What should I know about health care directives?
- All individuals ages 18 and older should have a health care directive to appoint an agent and address basic quality of life and medical questions.
- The directive is a “living document”. It should be updated as life circumstances change and when any of the "Five Ds" occur: Decade; Death of a loved one; Divorce; Diagnosis; Decline
- A health care directive is a legal document which serves as the basis for medical decision making.
- A copy of your health care directive should be shared with your agent (surrogate), family, loved ones, and health care and long term care providers.
- A health care directive can be changed as you grow older or as your life circumstances change. A new and timelier directive can be completed. Always share any changes with your health care agent, family and health care providers. Destroy old copies that are no longer current.
How can i ARRANGE A FACILITATED HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVe conversation?
Contact your health care provider or health system. Your physician can refer you to trained health system facilitators who can guide you in having this important conversation.