How to Think About Your Values: Advance Care Planning

While a doctor or a lawyer will ask you if you have an advance directive (e.g. living will), the conversation about your advance care wishes should truly start at home.

Completing an advance directive form isn’t about medical treatments or legal rights. It’s about making you the decision maker and sharing your values about what makes your life worth living.

For example, some people believe life is worth living if they can:

  • Feed, bathe, and take care of themselves
  • Be free from pain
  • Talk to family and friends

Some people even say life is always worth living, no matter how sick they may become.

There are no right or wrong choices. What matters most is that you have taken the time to make choices and explain them to your loved ones.

The Pennsylvania Advance Health Care Directive Form (PDF) can help you think about your values and make decisions based on these values.

For more information, or to talk with someone about advance care planning, contact the UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute at:

Contact Us

200 Lothrop St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-2582
412-647-UPMC (8762)
1-800-533-UPMC (8762)

Submit a question or comment online about your visit to a UPMC facility.

Download the PDF about advance medical planning (link opens a new window). 

For more information about advance directives, download Pennsylvania Advance Health Care Directive (PDF).

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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

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