Imagine you’re hospitalized and in a critical condition. Your family members are agonizing over what medical procedure to go through with. You are not even able to give an input into what treatment option you prefer.
How can you prepare for such a case and ease this heavy burden from your family members by making the choice for yourself beforehand? That is where Advance Directives come in.
By making use of an advance directive, you can control decisions regarding your health care when you’re incapacitated. It gets its name from the fact that you create them in advance to being potentially incapacitated.
Advance directives might clarify any ambiguity or conflicts concerning medical treatment. Many people wrongly believe that advance directives are only for the elderly. This understanding is not accurate.
Being prepared for the worst is essential to creating an advance directive, as depressing as it sounds.
Since they’re written documents that dictate an individual’s wishes regarding their treatment options, let’s take a look at what documents come under advance directives.
A Living Will
Living wills are legal papers that you must sign to make them valid and enforceable. They express your wishes for medical treatment if you become incapacitated. When deciding what to mention in your Living Will, think about how important it is to be self-sufficient and independent.
You will have to determine what medical procedures are appropriate and want doctors to prolong your life if there is no possibility of recovery.
A living will differ from regular will in that the latter only comes into effect after you pass away, while the former is in effect only when you’re alive
A living will usually cover the following situations:
- Feeding through a tube
- Ventilation using mechanical means
- Donation of organs and tissues
- Life-prolonging treatments
- Care for your comfort
- Donating your body for medical research
Medical Power Of Attorney
A health care proxy is another name for a medical power of attorney. This document permits you to appoint someone else to make medical choices for you if you cannot do so yourself. It is advised to appoint someone close to you such as a family member or close friend as your medical power of attorney.
A medical power of attorney varies significantly from a power of attorney that authorizes someone else to manage your financial or legal affairs. It’s critical to choose the correct person to make crucial medical choices on your behalf.
Even if you have additional directives that address areas of your care, you can’t predict every eventuality. The person you select to represent you should be able to satisfy the following requirements:
- Willing to talk about medical difficulties and end-of-life concerns
- Ready to follow your wishes and ideas
- If there are any conflicts about your care, you can count on them to make the right decisions on your behalf