Advance Care Planning…is wrong??

There has been some recent controversy around whether or not Advance Care Planning is time well-spent. While it seems likely that at least some of the disagreement arises from differences in commentators’ definition of “Advance Care Planning,” we thought that it would be useful to collect a few relevant resources that highlight some of the range of opinion that is currently bouncing around out there.

Advance Directives/Care Planning: Clear, Simple, and Wrong by R. Sean Morrison (J Pal Med)

What’s Wrong With Advance Care Planning? by R. Sean Morrison, Diane Meier, Robert Arnold (JAMA)

A New Paradigm Is Needed: Top Experts Question the Value of Advance Care Planning from Kaiser Health News

Advance Care Planning is Wrong, Sean Morrison on the GeriPal Podcast

Advance Care Planning is So Right, Rebecca Sudore and Ryan McMahan on the GeriPal Podcast

Surrogate Decision Makers Need Better Preparation for Their Role: Advice from Experienced Surrogates by Brian Bakke, et al. in J Pal Med

Shifting to Serious Illness Communication by Juliet Jacobsen, Rachelle Bernacki, Joanna Paladino in JAMA

Ultimately, the truth is (as usual) likely somewhere between the two extremes…in this case somewhere between “It’s a total waste of time,” and “It’s absolutely essential in all times, in all places, for all people.”

We at the ACT Program firmly believe that it’s important to talk about the future… and… sometimes the Plan needs to be, “I hear you, that’s enough for today.”

Skillful use of the MVP Steps and Skills can help us find, in collaboration with that person sitting with us, what is needed in that moment. If you find this sort of thing challenging… you are not alone! Feel free to get in touch with us, we’d be happy to hear about your successes and challenges!

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