“Strategic Advance Care Planning”

Every plan lets you complete your Natural Dying Living Will to memorialize your end-of-life wishes:
Severe enough suffering is the single compelling criterion to inform others precisely when you’d prefer to die;
My Way Cards describe and illustrate 50 conditions. They are easy to understand and comprehensively reflect what people dread most about prolonged dying in advanced dementia and other terminal illnesses.
Natural Dying is a unique intervention. It can be effective for all patients, including those who have “No Plug to Pull”; that is, whose lives do not depend on continuing high-tech, life-sustaining treatment.

Features of the Four Plans

Good Initial

Better Diligent

Best Strategic



Step 1: Use My Way Cards (computer, tablet, or cell phone) to answer When? by judging: “Is suffering severe enough?” And What? by choosing: an intervention that is effective and acceptable to those in power.

Download your initial DRAFT Natural Dying Living Will and your state’s form to designate your proxy/agent. (The draft can be your CURRENT Living Will.)

Step 2: Are your decisions consistent and compelling? —A phone call of about 10 minutes with our staff.


Step 3: “FINAL” Natural Dying Living Will. Physician–friendly. Mailed, ready for signatures so it’s legally valid. Includes forms to totally relieve pain and suffering; to clearly refuse force–feeding; and to thickened food and fluid. Strategically warns physicians about the consequences—if they refuse to comply.


Step 4: Complete and record a convincing and compelling video living will by an interview with one of our clinicians. (Or “How To” tips if we do not interview you.)*


Step 5: Natural Dying Agreement and Affidavit: Form your Decision Committee with a bilateral durable power of attorney and strategies designed to overcome common challenges and sources of sabotage.



Easy–to–sign Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (MOLST, POST) form with pre-printed orders for Natural Dying.



Step 6: Using suggested scripts to inform emergency first responders, record your Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNR) and DNR + Natural Dying (No I.V.) instructions on video.




Upload all your videos and forms to a website registry so physicians and others can readily access by computer or by scanning using their cellphones. **





The Good Initial Plan lists conditions in the order you responded using My Way Cards, so it is easy to compare your Draft, Final, and Updated decisions.

The Better Diligent Plan adds Steps 2 and 3, and either introduces or completes Step 4 (recording your interview on video), for which counselors charge a fee.

More detail is in Six Steps to Strategic Advance Care Planning pdf. Especially recommended reading is Step 5 so you do not underestimate how many challenges can prevent you from attaining your goals.

The Better Diligent Plan adds Steps 2 and 3, and introduces Step 4 (recording your interview on video).

The Best Strategic Plan adds Step 5. It recognizes that expressing your wishes is necessary but not sufficient. To overcome: Add layers of strategies to motivate your future physician and others to honor your advance treatment decisions, and to prevent others from sabotaging your plans.

Adding Step 6 makes it possible for future physicians and others to readily retrieve and learn your wishes when “that time” comes.

* Many health insurance policies now cover part of the professional fees for advance care planning. Ask our staff to estimate what portion of fees your insurance may pay—so one of our trained clinicians can interview you, as recommended.

** There is an additional annual membership fee. Ask us for further details. We also offer optional DNR medallions.

Two Free Offers

Experience an excerpt of the online program by clicking here: “BeginToPlan.”

Is your (or your loved one’s) living will adequate and effective?

Caring Advocates offers this time-limited, free service:
Send us your living will so we can offer our opinion.
Email your form to Dr. Terman: dr.terman@psychiatricalternatives.com
Or FAX your form to 888-767-6322

Want to learn about our other Protocol, Now Care Planning (for patients who have reached advanced dementia but lack and effective living will)? Click here.

Millions who will be suffering from Alzheimer’s and related dementias may receive treatment inconsistent with their preferences and values, treatment that may inflict longer and greater suffering. If you do not want this to happen to you, read this book! It offers a unique Advance Care Planning tool that offers substantial advantages over all alternatives.

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD; professor and Director, Hamline Health Law Institute; member, Medicare Evidence Development and Coverage Advisory Committee; Associate Editor, Journal of Clinical Ethics.