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End of Life: Advance Care Planning

What Is Advance Care Planning?

Do you know who will make decisions about your medical care if you are too sick to decide for yourself? If you can't make treatment decisions and you haven't legally designated someone to do so, your doctor will ask your closest available relative or friend to help decide what is best for you. Most of the time that works; however, sometimes not everyone agrees about what to do. That's why it's helpful to have an Advance Directive.

These documents are called Advance Directives because you prepare them before healthcare decisions need to be made, and because they state who will speak on your behalf and what should be done. Sometimes treatment decisions are hard to make and it helps your family and your doctors if they know what you want. An Advance Directive also gives them legal protection when they follow your wishes. This is why it is important for adults of all ages to have an Advance Directive.

Advance Directives forms are also available at all Sansum Clinic locations. If you would like more information about Advance Directives or desire assistance with completing the form, you may contact Oncology Social Work at (805) 681-7672 or attend one of our free Advance Directives Workshops. This program is free of charge and open to the community. 

Helpful Websites

Advance Care Planning Tools

Advance Directives Workshop

Advance Directives Workshop

Plan for a time when you cannot make your own medical decisions and are unlikely to recover from illness or injury. Complete your Advance Health Care Directive so friends and family will know your wishes and who you want to speak for you. Join us to learn about completing your own document and get answers to your questions. Workshops are open to the community and free of charge.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Advance Directives workshops are currently being offered online via Zoom. For upcoming dates and locations, check the Sansum Clinic Health Education Calendar.

For more information, contact the Health Resource Center at (805) 681-7672.


Oncology Social Work Services and Counseling

Cancer can involve significant psychological, social, and economic challenges for patients and their families. How and if these challenges are addressed is an important aspect of a patient’s care plan. The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center employs clinical social workers who provide emotional and practical support for patients, their families, and their friends. Oncology Social Workers can provide advocacy and referrals as well as individual and family counseling services.

Services are available at no cost and are available to anyone in our community, regardless of where they are receiving medical care. 

For more information, call (805) 879-5690.  

Resources provided by the Cancer Resource Library are for informational purposes only. The information in these materials may or may not apply to your specific condition, and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider to review anything you learn through these resources.

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides comprehensive cancer treatment and support programs for patients and families. We are recognized for medical excellence, a strong clinical research program, and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention.

Cancer Resource Library | 540 West Pueblo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 | (805) 563-5807 | |