Why You Need A Health Care Directive

Why You Need A Health Care Directive

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A Healthcare Directive is a written document created to speak for your healthcare wishes when you are no longer able to. 

Any time you go to the hospital, you want to have that documentation with you so that there is not any confusion as to what you want to happen in the event your health starts to decline. Having a healthcare directive prepared for you and your family will help alleviate the stress of managing your affairs.

What Is A Healthcare Directive?

A healthcare directive can be called many names.  A personal directive, living will, and advance directive are all names you might hear when referring to your healthcare directive.  All terms are referring to the document used to appoint someone to make your healthcare and personal decisions. This includes making decisions on medical treatments when you are incapable of doing so for yourself, listing your healthcare agent, as well as in the event of your passing, how you would like your remains handled.  A healthcare directive, however, does not make an appointment for your financial decisions.

What’s Included In A Healthcare Directive?

Healthcare directives can be as specific as needed. Usually, a health care directive sets in writing what you would like to medical care and treatment should you be unable to advocate for yourself. You can include specific directions for your medical care and the courses of action you’d like taken should certain events occur. You can also include how you would like to be taken care of should life support, food, or any other issues for your health.

Your healthcare directive can also appoint the name(s) of persons you want caring for you should you need it. The name(s) listed will be the ones to carry out your medical wishes.

Do I Require A Healthcare Directive?

While it is not a requirement, it is definitely a smart medical decision. You never know when circumstances may change and it is always better to be safe than sorry. If you find yourself in an accident that renders you unable to speak for yourself, having a health care directive already signed takes the guesswork out of what you would want for your medical treatment.

Is My Healthcare Provider Obligated To Follow My Healthcare Directive?

The short answer is yes. When provided to your healthcare provider, they are obligated to follow your wishes to the best of their ability. If your healthcare provider is not willing to follow your healthcare directive, they are to refer you to someone who will.

As long as your medical wishes are within current medical practices, your healthcare directive will be followed. Your healthcare directive will last until the time of your death unless you revoke it sooner.

Let JMG Law help you write your health care directive. Contact us today.