Power to the People: Engaging everyone in advance care planning

Rebecca Sudore rsucsf@yahoo.com
Liz Salmi lizsalmi@gmail.com

Abstract

The benefits of advance care planning (ACP) for patients, families, and society are well documented: better quality of life, less intrafamilial discord, and much more. ACP empowers people and their loved ones to speak up about what matters most to them when making health care decisions, and ensures the patient's voice is translated from the home and the community to the clinic and hospital settings.

Resources exist, yet it’s still challenging to help people consider:
- Their values and what matters most to them
- Who speaks for them if they cannot speak for themselves
- How ACP helps loved ones think about and discuss their health care preferences and know the wishes of others

How might we help people understand, consider, and share their wishes with their loved ones and health care team?

With patient Liz Salmi moderating and drawing on her own experiences, this panel will share how innovations in ACP are being used both in health systems and across communities, and explore opportunities for improvement.

Panelists include:
- Geri Baumblatt, MA, ACP resource developer
- Aretha Delight Davis, MD, JD, ACP resource developer
- Michael Fratkin, MD, palliative care physician and caregiver
- Rebecca Sudore, MD, physician, researcher and ACP resource developer

Panelists will discuss why ACP resources are often underutilized, and explore the barriers, emotions, and challenges clinicians and others face when initiating these conversations.

We’ll also provide innovative ways MedX attendees can engage in ACP, including making an action plan to start the discussion, completing an “ACP postcard,” and how to access an ACP multimedia program from home and share with family and friends. Panelists will make themselves available during breaks to talk with attendees who have questions about advance directives.
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