Young and healthy people in Florida probably don’t give much thought to what would happen if they suffered a life-threatening injury. However, no one can ever be prepared for the unexpected. That’s where an advance directive can help.
What is an advance directive?
Advance care planning involves creating a legal document that spells out your wishes in regard to health care. An advance care directive usually consists of documents such as:
- A living will
- A durable power of attorney
- Your preferences about Do Not Resuscitate practices
What does an advance directive cover?
If you’re involved in a situation in which you’re no longer able to make medical decisions on your own, an advance directive can be incredibly helpful. Health care directives can be as detailed or vague as you’d like. Some of the things you may like to discuss in your directive might include your preferences about:
- Artificial feeding
- Artificial respiration
- Surgical procedures
- Pain management
- Experimental medical treatments
Do you need an advance directive?
No matter your age or background, deciding what would happen if you experienced a life-threatening injury or serious illness is important. Creating an advance directive can give you more control over decisions that are made about your health care if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself.
If you don’t have an advance directive in place, your spouse or next closest relative will be responsible for making medical decisions for you. If they don’t agree with your health care choices, your wishes may not be acknowledged. This is also true if your doctor doesn’t agree with your health care choices. Doctors are usually legally required to uphold advance directives, even if they don’t support your wishes.
You can’t predict the future, but you can take steps to protect yourself if you ever face a medical emergency. Consider setting up an advance directive soon so you’ll have greater peace of mind.