What Are Advanced Directives and Why Are They Important?
What happens when you are hospitalized and unresponsive or incapacitated? Who decides what is best for you and your health? Advanced directives are instructional legal documents that safeguard your wishes for how you will be cared for if you can’t make healthcare decisions for yourself. They are personalized care plans that outline your medical wishes such as a do-not-resuscitate order or your wishes for organ donation. Regardless of your age, advanced directives are outlined based on your health and healthcare decisions. Advanced directives can include:
- Living wills
- Medical Power of Attorney
- Durable Power of Attorney
How Do Advanced Directives Work?
Advanced directives are a guide for your providers to use if you are in a coma, terminally ill, have late-stage dementia, are seriously injured, or at end of life. They can be changed or updated at any point in time with your consent. Advanced directives take away the burden placed upon your loved ones as they need to make difficult decisions for your care while under distress. They also prevent any potential arguments about your care. Advanced directives are the best way to ensure your medical choices are respected and to help your family and loved ones feel secure in making decisions on your behalf.
What are Living Wills?
Living Wills are written legal documents that outline which medical or healthcare related treatments you would or would not like to keep you alive. Examples of such medical procedures can include but are not limited to pain management, do not resuscitate orders, and organ donation wishes.
What is Medical Power of Attorney?
Medical Power of Attorney is a written legal document that designates who you would like to make any and all medical or healthcare related decisions on your behalf unless otherwise indicated.
What is Durable Power of Attorney?
Durable Power of Attorney is a written legal document designates who you would like to make decisions regarding your property. It does not include who can make medical or healthcare decisions on your behalf.
Don't put off getting your advanced directives in place. They are crucial for safeguarding your healthcare decisions.
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