Frequently Asked Questions


What is advance care planning?

It involves:

  • Learning about available life sustaining treatment options
  • Thinking about your values
  • Talking about your decisions
  • Documenting your wishes
  • Designating a decision maker on your behalf if and when the need were to arise

Why is it important to plan ahead?

Having advance care plans in place can help both you and your loved ones in the following ways:

  • When you are unable to speak for yourself
  • When sudden illness or accidents happen
  • By leaving a guide for others to follow
  • By giving peace of mind to loved ones

You live in New Hampshire. Aren’t your spouse’s or your loved ones’ rights to make decisions for you already recognized?

  • New Hampshire Law does not recognize the rights of a spouse, family member or friend to make healthcare decisions.
  • Guardianship may be required.  This process can be costly, time-consuming and will remove personal rights from an individual.

How can you get started on advance care planning?

  • Learn about life-sustaining treatments.
  • Reflect upon your values.
  • Decide what you want and do not want.
  • Talk to others.

Why is talking about your advance care planning decisions important and who should initiate it?

  • Discussion is a valuable opportunity to reflect on what’s important with loved ones.
  • Discussion needs to happen before a crisis.
  • Discussion can provide comfort to your loved ones.
  • Discussion is up to YOU to initiate.

What kind of questions should you ask you ask yourself to help start a discussion with your loved ones and care providers about advance care planning?

  • What do you want and not want at the end of life?
  • Who should speak for you?
  • What are your concerns?
  • What gives your life the most meaning?
  • What one thing do you want to be sure your doctors, family and friends know about your wishes?