Respecting Choices

COVID-19 Resources

Respecting Choices COVID-19 tools and resources available at the bottom of this page are currently free and open to all, and include:

Resources to have Planning Conversations in COVID-19
Tools to support specific treatment decisions
Resources for individuals

The fear and uncertainty related to the spread of COVID-19 is real, and it is understandable. We are all feeling it, both personally and professionally. We are being called upon to support each other in new and different ways, in all domains of life.

Individuals and their families who are at highest risk for complications and death from this infection are feeling especially vulnerable. No one can eliminate the uncertainty about whether they will get sick, or how sick they will become. But there is a way to limit the uncertainty, through proactively asking about the type of care they want, should they become severely ill. Knowing this information also limits the uncertainty for their loved ones and for the clinical teams who can confidently create a plan that aligns with what matters most to each individual.

One clinician shared this experience with us: “Our Division of Geriatrics/Home-Based Primary Care has been working with vulnerable frail elders and their agents/families to have unbiased, proactive care planning conversations regarding their goals should they contract Covid-19. Most of these interactions are via phone. We have received nothing but RELIEF by asking these questions ahead of time about what they would want and preparing agents for a possible decision-making role.”

Respecting Choices is receiving many similar stories describing opportunities to provide empathetic care to those that are worried and thinking about this. When given a voice, individuals are reassured. Some may express a goal to avoid unwanted care. This will create a challenge for healthcare delivery because once desired preferences are identified, systems must be in place to honor them. For example, if individuals want to avoid hospitalization, resources need to be in place to give the aggressive symptom management that may be needed.

Health systems who have not yet seen an influx of people with COVID-19 have a window of opportunity to assist with these proactive care planning conversations.

We recognize these types of conversations are new and unfamiliar for many clinicians, and this tool kit is intended to support you. Building on our 20 years of experience and research, Respecting Choices has adapted these tools for use as stand-alone materials, without additional online or in-person educational requirements, and all are specific to COVID-19.

We are offering these materials free to use during this period of crisis. Copy them, email them, spread them around. And please give us your feedback via email or by joining our virtual open office hours (click here to see dates and hours).

If you want more educational content, please click here or contact Respecting Choices at

Thank you for all that you do. Stay safe and healthy!


The Respecting Choices® COVID-19 tools and resources below will support these important conversations. They are currently free and open to all based on the Creative Common License.

Resources to help you have conversations about treatment preferences before a medical crisis 

Tools to support specific treatment decisions in high risk individuals

Resources for high risk individuals and their agents/loved ones: The importance of knowing treatment preferences before a medical crisis


Additional COVID-19 Resources From Our Collaborators:

American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM)
Cambia Health Foundation
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Center to Advance Palliative Care (CAPC)
Home Centered Care Institute (HCCI)
National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care
National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)
National POLST
PREPARE For Your Care
The John A. Hartford Foundation

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