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CMAJ. 1996 Dec 15;155(12):1689-92.

Bioethics for clinicians: 6. Advance care planning.

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University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, Toronto ON.


Advance rate planning is a process whereby a patient, in consultation with health care providers, family members and important others, makes decisions about his or her future health care. Grounded in the ethical principle of autonomy and the legal doctrine of consent, advance care planning helps to ensure that the norm of consent is respected should the patient become incapable of participating in treatment decisions. Physicians can play an important role by informing patients about advance care planning directing them to appropriate resources, counselling them as they engage in advance care planning and helping them to tailor advance directives to their prognosis.

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