An advance medical directive is a type of legal document that allows someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. This document makes a lot of sense for someone who is elderly or who suffers from a serious illness. But if you are young and in good health, you may be wondering: Is it really necessary for me to make one?
Everyone should have an advance medical directive
Advance medical directives are crucial for everyone. It is easy for people who are young and do not have a major illness to dismiss these directives as unnecessary. However, this can be a devastating mistake. Life is unpredictable: Anyone could experience an accident or illness that incapacitates them. In this situation, the family member or loved one you designate in your medical directive can instruct your doctors regarding your care. Without this document in place, you may not receive the treatment that you would like.
How do I create one?
Creating an advanced medical directive does not need to be complicated. The first step is to find an attorney in your area who has experience in family law and advance directives. In your first appointment, you and your lawyer will discuss the course of treatment that you would like to receive in the event that you cannot make medical decisions for yourself. You will designate a health care power of attorney– someone to make health care decisions on your behalf.
This process may take a few days to a few months. When your attorney completes your advance medical directive, you will have peace of mind knowing that your medical team will follow your wishes if you become incapacitated.