What is an Advance Care Plan?
Advance Care Plan, also known as Advance Care Directive or Living Will, is a document which tells others about the quality and type of medical care you would prefer at the end of your life. In a medical emergency your plan will guide your family and doctors to care for you the way you want them to.
It’s easy to complete the questionnaire and share it with people you trust. Your final wishes are safely and securely stored on Australian Servers and you can easily edit and share your personal Advance Care Plan (ACP) with your family, friends and other important professionals such as your GP and Solicitor.
About Dr Merran Cooper
Merran is a medical doctor and a physiotherapist, with decades of experience in the healthcare sector. She cared for her husband through his illness and death when they were both 23. She has completed training as a Death Doula and is a Certified Death Midwife. She wants us to talk more openly about the mysteries and practicalities of death.
She believes in the power of love, tenderness and humour – in death as in life.
Whether you need simple privacy with your loved ones or multiple carers in your home, she wants your health care preferences to be respected.
Read more about her personal story...
This website came about because of two people. The first was Mark – a young 23-year-old man full of hope and love. He had been married to me for only 6 months when he was given a diagnosis of leukaemia and being 1983, that was practically a death sentence. As young adults, we had no idea what leukaemia was and absolutely no idea about talking with doctors, hospitals, nurses, radiologists. Least of all, we knew nothing about how to get ready for Mark to die.
Yet we struggled on and Mark did die. Most importantly he died well – despite there being no palliative care back then, no internet, no bereavement counselling and no training of doctors in “how to deliver bad news”.
In the 11 months between diagnosis and death, just about everything went badly for us, yet Mark Bruce died well, at the age of 24 because of some straight talking, solid information, and a willingness to face god and spirituality – even though he had never really done that before.
This website is my tribute to Mark, more than 30 years later, because I now know that when someone dies well, it makes it possible for their loved ones to live a better life after they are gone. I hope you too will share your stories, secrets, and miracles here so that you and your loved ones can live and die as well as Mark did.
The other person who motivated this website to be created is Jane Wade, my dear friend who had a debilitating neurological disease for most of her amazing life. I was so affected by her strength, bravery and positive attitude that I decided to study medicine as a postgraduate degree, to work in palliative care. She encouraged me. Just before my first semester began, Jane died. She gave me blue pearl earrings and I wore them for every exam and to my graduation. I am now a doctor and I see people and families without Advance Care Plans every single day. They deprive themselves of some of the most loving and healing conversations. Our medical technologies and treatment regimes can deny these things to our dying patients too, even if that is not the intention.
Dying is not a failure. It is a time of transitioning where deep healing and transformation can occur if we let it. My hope is that Touchstone Life Care will help this happen for many people.