Tuesday, October 30, 2012

What is an Advanced Medical Directive?

Do you know what would happen to you if you were in a bad car accident?  Does your family know what your wishes are?  Do they know whether you would want to remain on life support indefinitely or whether you do not want extreme life saving measures taken?

An Advanced Medical Directive can make it clear to your friends, family and doctors what your wishes are, should you become incapable of expressing those wishes.  You can choose, and make clear to doctors and loved ones, what life saving measures you would want taken.  You can also nominate someone to make these decisions for you, should your desires be unclear. 

Aside from expressing your own wishes and controlling your medical care in the event that you are unable to express your desires, having an advanced medical directive will ease the burden on your family.  Should you become unable to express your wishes, having family members decide what medical treatment you would want can be a huge burden and stressor on your family.  During an emotional time for everyone, it is best to have a written document that clearly dictates how you want your medical treatment to be handled.

If you do not have an advanced medical directive in place, I strongly suggest you discuss this with an attorney to ensure you have control over your future medical treatment.