You have both the right and the ability to make decisions about your own health care. Because of that, you may also allow another person to make these decisions for you. An Advance Healthcare Directive can achieve these results for you by spelling out exactly what kind of healthcare you wish to have in the event you become unable to communicate your desires at the time that the healthcare is required.
For example, you can indicate in your Advance Healthcare Directive that two doctors must concur that brain activity has stopped before life-support is removed, or you may wish to add a provision that says that life-support should only be continued for certain period of time. It’s not fun to think about, I know. Some people may not even want to create an Advance Healthcare Directive because they would rather not think about it or perhaps simply trust doctors and family members to make the right decision.
Even though it’s not fun to think about, consider this: it may be better for you to grapple with this decision when you’re fully competent healthy and calm instead of relying, or indeed forcing, a family member to grapple with the decision after some unfortunate event has occurred.
An Advance Healthcare Directive (also called a Living Will) allows a person to:
- Receive desired and specific medical treatment
- Refuse undesired medical treatment
- Name an Agent to assist in decision making
- This is put in place to act during a time in which a person would otherwise be incapable of expressing their specific desires
Just as you have helpers in other areas of your life, so can you designate a helper for your medical decisions should the need arise.
Please read more about Advance Healthcare Directives in my Blog. Thank you.