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Molly Bartlett 23 April 2021

Why do I think advance care planning is important?

A message from one human being to another
Advance care planning Guest post

Today’s guest post comes from Molly — she is living with kidney cancer and has written for us before about separating hope from health and how doctors and patients can work together.

Molly Bartlett in her garden

As we take some welcome small steps back to some sort of normality and we start to get back some sort of freedom in our lives, it seems a good point to take stock of what we’ve learnt over the past year. I want to share some thoughts I’ve had about advance care planning.

4 reasons why I think advance care planning is important

  1. Because lots of things are out of our control
  2. And whilst planning is no absolute guarantee it does mean that what we want to happen is much more likely
  3. Our families will know what we want, reducing guess work and disagreement
  4. Doctors and those caring for us will know how we want to be supported and cared for and what is important to us in that process

Most of us are probably familiar with the planning we can do through writing a will (writing it doesn’t make death happen!).

Some of us will have already thought about our funeral and there are lots more options nowadays.

Then, there is planning for our care towards the end of our lives.

And what would we NOT want — which may be equally important.

Each of us probably has values, ideas and beliefs that we have lived our lives by and we can plan for our dying process to reflect these in some way.


There are lots of resources to help us to think about these ideas and to get them written down and communicated to others. Look online, ask what the organisation has and talk to those who know.

For me, and for my partner too, getting these things in place has been really important and reassuring. It has helped us to feel stronger and more in control.

And when this planning is done…we can get on with living our days.


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