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Consider your values

Your values are at the center of your life care plan. Reflect on what matters most to you.

What defines your values

Life Care Planning is fundamentally about you and that’s why values are at the center of the planning process. It is about knowing what is most important to you and communicating how that affects your wishes for future health care.

Who we are, what we believe, and what we value are all shaped by the experiences we have had. Many parts of our lives – faith, family, jobs, and friends – all affect us deeply. We are also influenced by other people’s experiences.

We encourage you to answer the questions that follow and to discuss them with your agent. They are meant as a guide, not as a test, and there are no right or wrong answers.

What defines your values

Consider these thought starters

Spend some time considering the following areas and how, if at all, they have shaped your feelings about medical treatment?

Step 1: Think about what makes you unique

  • Personal values: What is most important to you in life? What unique beliefs do you have that others may not know about? 
  • Cultural values: What is most important to you when it comes to your culture? Are there cultural traditions that might impact your decisions for medical care?
  • Religious values: What religious or spiritual values are most important to you? How do your religious beliefs influence the medical care you would want?

Step 2: Clarifying your values helps you consider the decisions that you would want made on your behalf

  • If you were having a really good day, what would you be doing? 
  • What gives your life meaning (i.e. the people closest to you, spending time in nature, your spirituality or faith, listening to music, working or volunteering, being a parent, grandparent, daughter or son)?

Step 3: Consider experiences that matter

  • What experience have you had with someone you know (or have heard of) who became suddenly ill or injured?
  • What did you learn from that experience that helps you to better understand your own values? 

Discussing these issues with family, others in your culture, spiritual leaders, or friends in your religious community can help you feel confident in your choices.

Your answers to these questions are very important to your future health care decisions. We encourage you to keep them in mind as you continue to explore this website.    

Reviewed by: John W Prochnow, November 2017