The Reframing of Advance Care Planning: How Coronavirus Disease 2019 has Encouraged Us to Reflect More on our Values.
Coronavirus disease 2019 has contributed to some unintended, yet valuable, reframing of advance care planning. Rather than perceiving ACP as merely being about death and dying, many healthcare providers and community members now acknowledge the need to plan in advance for healthcare decisions, especially if we are unable to communicate and consent for ourselves.
Rather than perceiving ACP conversations as “difficult conversations”, many healthcare providers and community members now acknowledge them as important and essential conversations. And rather than perceiving that ACP is primarily for the elderly or seriously ill, many healthcare providers and community members now acknowledge that we are all mortal and could unexpectedly become sick or injured; therefore, ACP is of value for all.
As Sudore et al concluded, “Advance care planning is a process that supports adults at any age or stage of health”. And the primary goal of ACP is “to help ensure that people receive medical care that is consistent with their values, goals and preferences”.
Due to discomfort with uncertainty and craving to feel some sense of control, particularly during times of crisis, many people presume that ACP is about considering and choosing specific medical treatments in advance. And yet, at the core of ACP is in fact values. Our values dictate most, if not all, of our choices and actions.
Palliat Med Hosp Care Open J. 2020; 6(1): 14. doi: 10.17140/PMHCOJ-6-136