We might be in a dilemma when it comes to Advance Care Planning because it is impossible to visualize different scenarios of the last days of our lives or incapacitation in order to plan out our future medical care decisions. But, planning an Advance Directive makes a major portion of Advance Care Planning easy.
What is an Advance Directive?
What would happen if an accident immobilizes you? Who will take all the decisions of your medical care on your behalf? Advanced Directive is a legal document that comes into effect when you’re no longer capable of speaking for yourself, i.e. you become incapacitated.
Advance Directives are primarily of two types:
It is a legal document providing your instructions for End-Of-Life medical care. Which medical procedures are allowed and which not will all be specified in this will. It will state your preference for extending your life through Life-sustaining treatments if there is no hope of recovery.
Durable Power Of Attorney For Healthcare
Also known as Healthcare Proxy, a Durable Power of Attorney For Healthcare is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make medical decisions on your behalf when you’re no longer to do so. The person will be called your agent, proxy, or representative. You can leave further instructions for your medical preferences.
The main goal of Advance Directives is to provide your family with a solution in any catastrophe to take care of you with decisions already approved by you. Let us have a look at more benefits of Advance Directives.
Let Your Medical Preferences Known
In case of incapacity, your family and healthcare professionals will be informed of your medical care choices. For example, a Living Will can speak on your behalf for medical procedures like:
- Resuscitation through electric shock.
- Tube feeding
- Mechanical ventilation
- Organ and Tissue donation
Stop Family Dispute
Your incapacity might also result in numerous fights among your family members regarding your medical treatments. You should be the one choosing or appointing someone to choose the options that are better for your body and life.
Taking responsibility for your medical treatments on your own or through someone you think is capable of, is the best way to stop future disputes in the family.
Specify Your Wishes
While some people want to live long, some might want to live a happy life – even if it’s short. There are many decisions that deal with the kind of life and care you may want during your last days.
An Advanced Directive states your wishes such as the place you want to spend the rest of your days in (could be your home or the hospital) or the people you want to be with. In case of brain death or comatose, action will be taken according to your wish as stated on the Advanced Directive.
Provide Mental Peace To Your Loved Ones
Taking care and making health care decisions for someone else is mentally tiring. Not to forget, that your family would already be going through a rough phase when you’ll be hospitalized. The fear of making wrong decisions for your body would increase their hardships.
They would be forever trapped in guilt if anything happens to you because of the treatment they approved of. An Advanced Directive would give clear instructions for your medical care and mental peace to your family.
Stay Prepared For Any Mishappening
You are not in control of what the future might hold for you but you can certainly plan for the tragic times and ensure your involvement in your medical care even if you become physically and mentally unable to do so.
Discussing future medical needs with healthcare professionals and family gives you a clear idea of your actual wishes when you’d be hospitalized. Support your loved ones and yourself by opting for an Advance Directive.
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