Last Updated: October 22, 2020

The PlanWellGuide website can be used to help patients better clarify their values and better understand the different types of medical care available during serious illness.

Compared to other tools that may be used to help patients near or at the end of life, our Plan Well Guide offers the following features or attributes:

  • Discriminates between planning for terminal care vs. planning for serious illness.
  • Explains how we make medical decisions under conditions of uncertainty.
  • Utilizes a ‘constrained’ values clarification tool where respondents have to pick between competing values.
  • Uses ‘Grids’ to transparently connect stated values to respondent preferences for medical treatments during serious illness.
  • Provides a ‘first in class’ decision aid on the different levels of care, with explanations about the difference between ICU, Medical and Comfort care, so participants understand the risks, benefits and outcomes of the type of treatments they are preferring.

Users can use the “Make a Plan” tab to document their values and preferences, and to print out a “Dear Doctor” letter that can be shared with their health care providers and loved ones. A recent randomized controlled trial using the resource showed positive impacts from both patients and family physicians.

For more information, see

Having a family member or friend in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) can be very stressful. The ICU is a strange environment with lots of machines, noises and monitors, and patients are usually very sick. You may have a lot of questions about the care your family member may receive.

Since your family member cannot communicate, we may need your help to make decisions about their care. This guide and questionnaire provides you with information and support, and will help you and the ICU team better understand how to care for your family. It was created by The Canadian Researchers at the End of Life Network (CARENET).