Advance Care Planning: The Importance of a Health Care Directive
Advance care planning is planning for care you would get if you become unable to speak for yourself. Many people assume that their families will know what to do when it comes to their family members' care, but few Americans have had detailed conversations about their wishes for end-of-life care.
These family conversations can be liberating. Making written preferences for end-of-life care doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a document that could serve as inspiration for these conversations and provide clear information for how you want to die?
The living will is for the end of life if a person is permanently unconscious or terminally ill (can't be cured). The living will explains the type of medical treatment the person would want or not want to receive in these situations. It can include, in detail, under what conditions an attempt to prolong life should be started or stopped. This can include dialysis, tube feedings, or even actual life support.
There is a lot to think about for your living will, including:
Do you want the use of medical equipment, like ventilators, to keep you alive.
The use of Do Not Resuscitate orders (DNR). If your heart stops, do you want CPR?
Do you want food or fluids intravenously if you can't eat or drink on your own?
Bear in mind, you can revoke or revise a living will at any time.
Medical Power Of Attorney
The Medical Power Of Attorney, also known as a Durable Power Of Attorney For Healthcare, is a document that is used to name your agent in charge of your medical care, should you be unable to manage your care on your own.
If your physician certifies that you are not able to make your own healthcare decisions, your assigned medical agent can speak with your health care team and other caregivers on your behalf and make decisions according to the directions you gave earlier.
Once you decide who your medical agent will be, speak with them about your wishes and give them a copy of the healthcare directive.
Make a plan now to take the guesswork out of your future health care. Make your health care directive a priority today.
Kevin Miller is available to help you create an advance directive so you are not caught off guard in an uncertain time. It is important that you make your healthcare directive a priority, especially as you age. Kevin Miller has extensive experience in living wills and medical powers of attorney and will put your interests first. Contact us or call us at 405-443-5100 if you have questions. We are here to help.