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The WellStar Ethics Program is committed to promoting completion of health care advance directives and equipping health care providers to talk with patients about advance care planning.

Advance care planning (ACP) is a process of communication between an individual and his/her Health Care Agent(s) and healthcare providers to discuss and reflect on personal values and preferences regarding health care. It is also a process of planning for future healthcare decisions in the event that the individual loses the ability to make his/her own decisions or express his/her values and preferences. During this process, an individual may choose to complete an Advance Directive for Healthcare. An Advance Directive for Healthcare is a legal document in which an individual may choose to:

  1. Designate a Healthcare Agent to make decisions for him or herself when he/she is unable to do so
  2. And / Or make some of his/her treatment preferences known

Completing a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare

  1. Complete appropriate sections of the Advance Directive document [Spanish Version]
  2. The patient must sign and date document
  3. Two witnesses must sign and date the document. The witness
    • Must be at least 18 years of age
    • Cannot be any of the people the patient has chosen as his/her Healthcare Agent or backup Healthcare Agent
    • Cannot be someone who will knowingly inherit anything from the patient or gain a financial benefit from the patient’s death
    • Only ONE witness can be a healthcare employee. The healthcare employee cannot be directly involved in the patient’s care or potentially involved in the future
  4. Once the document is signed, the patient should make copies to provide to his/her health care agent(s), his/her primary care provider and any other parties that he/she think should have a copy of the document

Advance Care Planning Workshops

WellStar Community Education & Outreach offers workshops on living wills and other advance directives. Here, you will learn how to talk with your loved ones about your health care preferences in order to guide them during times when you cannot speak for yourself and to document those preferences in a Georgia Advance Directive for Healthcare.

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If you have any questions about advance care planning, please call our Advance Care Planning Facilitator, Amy Bocchino, at 470-956-5812 or the Ethics Program at 470-956-6475.