The Basics of a Medical Directive

When creating an estate plan, consider adding a Medical Directive. Some opt for a living will while others prefer to have a durable health care power of attorney. Before creating this document, however, you need to learn the laws of your state to ensure the document meets the legal requirements. With the help of the document selected, your healthcare provider will be able to follow your wishes rather than doing what he or she feels is best. Before you create a Medical Directive and living will or other document, you need to understand the differences between the various documents and which is best for your situation.

Why You Need This Type Of Document

A terminal illness may strike at any time, but most people refuse to accept this fact. If you do become ill, you want to ensure your family knows what your wishes are, as many families end up being torn apart due to differences of opinion concerning the care of a loved one. With the document, there is no confusion as to what you wish to happen. The doctors follow the instructions laid out in the document with the help of the individual named as the agent of the person who is ill.

Types Of Advance Directives

Medical directives come in many forms, and each type has its own purpose. Understanding the various types makes it easier for an individual to determine which they wish to create for use by their loved ones. Living wills are designed to be used only when the patient can no longer make choices or decisions on their own, when they have a terminal illness, or enter into a persistent vegetative state. Do not resuscitate orders apply only to those situations where the heart stops beating, in contrast, and only apply when life-saving measures are needed in this situation. These are only two examples of medical directives, as there are numerous others.

What The Document Should State

Each document must be personalized to meet the unique needs of the patient and should address whether one wishes to have artificial life-sustaining treatment. The document needs to list any types of treatment they would prefer to be denied, such as artificial nutrition or CPR. Any medical procedures the patient prefers not to have should also be listed here, along with preferences for pain control. Finally, the patient ought to include where he or she would prefer for this care to take place.

Determine which type of medical directive best meets your needs. Everyone should have one because of the uncertainty of life. With the type of document, you retain control of your property and other assets, so this needn't be concerned that you are signing away rights to these items. In addition, you may change or revoke the document at any time if your needs change. Speak to a legal professional to learn more about these documents and the laws of your state. Doing so will provide you with peace of mind.