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National Healthcare Decisions Day

April 16th, 2023

National Healthcare Decisions Day

Calvary proudly joins the national and local health care community in promoting the importance of Advanced Care Planning through education and resource sharing. Advance care planning starts with a conversation. And while it’s not an easy discussion to have; it is an important one. Your family, close friends, and medical team need to know your desires for your own healthcare in a number of common medical scenarios.

All adults have the right to prepare a document called an “Advance Directive,” which allows them to express their wishes regarding medical care in writing. An Advance Directive is a beneficial tool that works to let others know your wishes regarding the types of medical care you do and do not want if you cannot express your wishes on your own.

The Covid-19 pandemic brought the need for Advance Care Planning into sharp focus. Now more than ever, we must acknowledge the importance of taking time to talk with our loved ones about our health care wishes and documenting them through the completion of an advance directive.

Advance Care Planning: Health Care Directives

Advance-care planning (ACP) is at the core of all care plans, having a plan in place enables you as the patient to state your treatment preferences, goals and wishes with loved ones, while you have time and the mental capacity to do so. Having a plan in place before an unforeseen medical event occurs is critical. In many medical situations, doctors need to make choices quickly; having a plan allows your care team to act in accordance with your wishes even if you are unable to direct them.

It is important to know that here in New York State, no one can direct medical care for you without your wishes expressed in writing.

What Is Advance Care Planning?

Advance Care Planning is an ongoing discussion about your healthcare goals, values, and wishes.

Advance Care Planning is the process of completing a series of documents that help express your wishes at a future time when you may not be able to make these choices for yourself.

While it's not an easy discussion to have, it is an important one.

Man signing document

Completing advance directives

"When a medical crisis occurs, a person is often unable to make decisions on their own, taking care of Advanced Care Directives, by appointing a Health Care Agent and filling out a Living Will, long before you need it, allows you and your appointed decision-makers to enter into a dialog about your preferences for care." said Debbie Feldman JD, LCSW.

Learn More

Elderly couple walking

Getting Started

The Conversation Project has put together many tools and resources for use in the public domain to help everyone talk about their wishes for care through the end of life.

We hope you will use these powerful resources and guides to help you start a conversation about your own healthcare goals and ideals so you have a say in your health care — now and in the future.

About Advance Directives

An advance directive is a tool that allows you to share and express your desires and values related to your health and end-of-life care. Consider it a ‘living document’ – one you will change and adjust as you age. Calvary Hospital has put together a list of advance care planning steps for patients and families to follow in learning more about what Advance Care Planning is and why.


Start the conversation and choose your Health Care Agent. We recommend a person you know well; this may be a family member or trusted friend. This person will be the one who makes designs on your behalf and advocate for you.


Your Healthcare Agent will be able to state your wishes on your behalf and should be well versed in your thoughts and options on how care should be administered to you in a. Number of Healthcare scenarios.


Clarify your Values and Beliefs; tools such as values assessments may help pinpoint your thoughts and feelings in common medical situations faced at the end of life. Share your plans with your medical team.


Check out the infographic we created to serve as an easy step by step guide to help get your Advance Care Planning efforts in order.

This sounds complicated, but remember you are not alone, our team is here to help you. Also thanks to and so is your General care Practitioner is a great place to start.

Get Started With Free Guides

If you are looking to learn more on your own, we suggest looking at the free Conversation Guides created by The Conversation Project, these are a great way to start the process of creating an Advance Care Plan and were created to “help you have ‘the conversation’ with the important people in your life about your – or their – wishes for care through the end of life.”