Advance Care Planning

Celebrate National Healthcare Decisions Week (NHDW) and SC Healthcare Decisions Day (SCHDW) on April 15-21!

When a loved one nears the end of their life without expressing their wishes, families and healthcare providers face extraordinarily difficult decisions that could have been avoided with proper advance care planning. Estimates indicate that less than 30% of the population has an advance directive, such as a healthcare power of attorney or living will, which guides decisions about healthcare if a person is unable to make their wishes known.

The purpose of NHDD and SCHDD is to inspire, educate & empower the public & providers about the importance of advance healthcare planning. The goal is to encourage patients/the public to express their wishes regarding healthcare advance directives,  and for providers and facilities to respect those wishes, whatever they may be. 

About the SC Coalition for the Care of the Seriously Ill 

This statewide coalition brings key organizations, clinicians, and healthcare entities together to collaboratively redesign care, improve quality of life, and protect the ethical rights of the seriously, chronically, or terminally ill in South Carolina. The coalition is committed to improving the shared decision-making for this population by implementing strategies which help patients understand the typical trajectory of their condition and take an active role in their treatment, including decisions about their care.

The coalition is examining the feasibility of implementing the national POLST (Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) Paradigm in our state so that patient directives can more easily be followed. Legislation would be required. The coalition is also developing a manual and toolkit to help clinicians and healthcare facilities understand the ethical issues involved in chronic, serious, and terminal illnesses, provide palliative care for patients in all settings, and ensure that the patient has an active voice in the care decision process. 

Members of the Coalition include the South Carolina Medical Association, The Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care, the South Carolina Hospital Association, the SC Healthcare Ethics Network, The S.C. Society of Chaplains, LifePoint, AARP, and the South Carolina Nurses Association. 

Documents and Resources