Tool Helps Users Prepare for End-of-Life Discussion

CURE, Spring 2013, Volume 12, Issue 1

Website helps patients make future medical decisions regarding end of life.

When someone is seriously injured or ill, one of the most difficult conversations to initiate involves making medical decisions—when choices must be made that could ease pain or prolong suffering, extend life or hasten death. To make it easier to begin the process of advance care planning, a group of academic researchers created Prepare (prepareforyourcare. org), an online tool to help patients decide the type of medical care they desire if a time comes when they can’t speak for themselves. The free, interactive website takes users through five easy-to-understand steps designed to help them examine their own deeply held beliefs and values, to choose a medical decision maker, to discuss the flexibility that decision maker will have in a medical crisis, to communicate their wishes to others and to ask their healthcare professionals the type of questions that will enable them to make informed decisions. Users are tracked through the process and presented with content appropriate to their choices.