Have a Question on Advance Care Planning?
Here is a compilation of frequently asked questions about Advance Care Planning (ACP).
Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the process of planning for your current and future healthcare. ACP helps you to communicate to your loved ones and healthcare team about your values and how these values shape your healthcare preferences. In the event you are unable to make decisions or speak for yourself, your ACP guides your loved ones and healthcare team to make decisions in your best interest.
Sometimes, we may encounter a medical crisis which impairs our own capacity to make decisions. In such cases, we may need our loved ones to participate in decisions related to our health and personal care.
Should this happen, ACP helps you to communicate your values and healthcare preferences to your loved ones, and your care team. ACP helps to avoid guilt, stress and conflicts among your loved ones, as your choices guide them towards making important care decisions for you.
ACP is an important part of routine healthcare. Anyone can start their ACP today regardless of your age or health condition. Discussing and documenting your healthcare preferences with your loved ones and doctors can give everyone peace of mind.
ACP is particularly important for people who have a chronic illness, an early cognitive impairment, frail, or are approaching the end of life.
Life is unpredictable, and you will never know when you might need your ACP. ACP is a way to plan ahead with your loved ones and doctors. We recommend that everyone, regardless of health status, to start planning for your ACP today.
Click here for more information.
Click here for more details on how to start your ACP journey.
ACP may be done at government hospitals, polyclinics and social care providers. Click here to find an ACP provider.
ACP is a conversation with the person or people who will represent you if you cannot speak for yourself. Your Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson speaks for you when you do not have capacity to decide for yourself or to communicate your wishes.
Your NHS would ideally:
- Be at least 21 year-old
- Be someone who knows you well. For example, a family member or a close friend.
- Be willing to speak up for your goals and values on your behalf.
- Be someone you trust and will act in your best interests to tell your doctors about the care you would like to receive should you lose mental capacity.
- Be someone who can handle stressful situations well.
You may nominate up to two NHS. Both NHS should be clear and in agreement about what your preferences are.
|Purpose||The ACP helps you to discuss and document matters related to your healthcare. It
is a broad plan that may include extent of treatment, pain control options, and what to do should your heart
|Under Singapore’s law, only the individual can undertake decisions about refusing
The AMD helps you to make an instruction beforehand to refuse life-sustaining
treatment if you were terminally ill. In other words, you would not want life-sustaining treatment to prolong
the dying process. In such case, the AMD helps you to avoid unnecessary prolonging the inevitable dying process.
|Should you lose mental capacity, your family is not automatically granted legal
powers over your finances and property.
The LPA allows you to appoint a legal donee to look after your
financial and/or personal welfare decisions on your behalf. Such matters may include: where you should live, who
you should live with, daily lifestyle, and healthcare decisions.
|Involvement of loved ones||Yes, you may appoint up to 2 Nominated Healthcare Spokesperson(s).||None.||Yes, you may appoint up to 2 Donee(s).|
|When is it used||Your ACP is only used if you lack mental capacity (for example, you are in a coma
or your illness has made it hard for you to make decisions). As long as you retain mental capacity, you will be
Your loved ones and your medical team can use it to guide your care and advocate for your wishes.
|Your doctor(s) will check for your AMD when: (1) you lack mental capacity; (2) are
terminally ill; (3) and require extraordinary life-sustaining treatment.
|Your donee(s) will act on your behalf only when you lack mental capacity|
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) Form 1 grants your donee legal rights to make decisions for you. But it does not tell your donee what to do for your personal welfare in the event they need to act on your behalf. An Advance Care Plan (ACP) helps you to communicate to your loved one, who may also be your donee, about what to do about your personal welfare. Examples of personal welfare matters include: where you should live, who you should live with, daily lifestyle, and healthcare decisions. In order to reduce conflicting decisions among family members, we encourage you to nominate the same person as the donee and nominated healthcare spokesperson for both your LPA and ACP.
An Advance Medical Directive (AMD) only covers your preferences for life-sustaining treatment should you lose your mental capacity. However, there are many other aspects that are important for your loved ones and healthcare team to know too. Examples of important healthcare decisions include: pain management options, where you would like to be cared for, and where you would like to spend your last days.
The objective of an ACP is to help you have a say in your healthcare when you no longer have mental capacity. As long as you have mental capacity, you will be consulted on your preferences.
Your Advance Care Plan is a reflection of you. As your life changes, so may your life goals and decisions. You may continue to make changes to your ACP as long as you have mental capacity. Your most updated ACP will replace the previous version(s). Read over your ACP every few years to make sure that it is still current.
In addition, it is a good idea to review your ACP after the following events:
- Every new decade of their life
- After a significant medical diagnosis
- After a significant change in their daily functioning (activities of daily living)
You are also encouraged to share any changes with your loved ones and healthcare team whenever an updated version is documented so that they will be up-to-date with your new ACP.
Contact your ACP service provider to update your Advance Care Plan.
No, your doctors are bounded by medical ethics and the law to make sure that your best interests are protected.
Doing your ACP gives you a chance to make plans ahead, and helps the doctors to treat you in your best interests.
No, you do not need a lawyer to do your ACP.
Some ACP providers may charge a nominal fee for doing an ACP, please kindly check in with the individual provider on the cost.
You may visit the ACP Directory for a list of ACP providers.
ACP facilitators are professionals employed by healthcare or social care organisations. All ACP facilitators are certified by AIC.
Start Your ACP Journey
Find an ACP facilitator near you using our Directory here.
Click on the following pages to get more details on Advance Care Planning.
All About ACP
Advance Care Planning (ACP) is the process of planning for future health and personal care. It includes discussing one’s personal beliefs and goals for care with their loved ones and healthcare providers.
Simple Steps For ACP
Advance Care Planning begins with your loved ones having an open conversation with you about their wishes and goals for care.
Other Ways To Plan Ahead
Apart from Advance Care Planning (ACP), there are other tools that can aid you and your loved ones in planning ahead should you lose mental capacity.
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