The Importance of Advance Medical Directives

An advance medical directive can help your needs be met when you are unable to speak for yourself. Here, Doug Lauenstein details ways that having an advance medical directive is beneficial to your health and estate planning needs.

What is an Advance Medical Directive?

An advance medical directive, or living will, is a binding legal document that details your preferences for medical care in the event you cannot speak for yourself. Used by doctors, caregivers and other medical professionals, an advance directive provides guidelines that dictate their actions regarding your medical treatment.

What Does an Advance Medical Directive Encompass?

An advance directive encompasses many aspects of your medical care. This can include resuscitation, tube feeding, mechanical ventilation, antibiotic/antiviral treatment, dialysis and palliative care. This document can also reflect your desire to donate tissues, organs or your body for transplantation or scientific research, if applicable.

While a “do not resuscitate” or “do not intubate” order is a separate entity, it should still be reflected in your advance medical directive for ease of access, use and understanding.

Why is an Advance Medical Directive Important?

  • Medical Crises Can Occur at Any Age

While such a document may seem the realm of the old and terminally ill, it is important to remember that tragedy can strike at any age. Being prepared for the worst can help your loved ones make the choices for you that you would make for yourself.

  • Your Needs Can Be Met

Whether based on moral, ethical, religious or other factors, decisions about your health and medical care are serious and deeply personal. While uncomfortable to think about in the here and now, the wishes you reflect in an advance medical directive could change the course of your life dramatically, should a medical emergency occur. By having an advance medical directive, you can rest easy knowing that your wishes are legally binding, and must be carried out.

  • Less Conflict for Loved Ones

Medical emergencies can cause serious conflicts among family and friends, who may have very strong opinions about the best choices for your medical care and health. This could lead to prolonged battles in court, where a judge will ultimately decide who is in the right. This conflict and suffering can be considerably minimized by establishing an advance medical directive, which will leave no doubt about what you desire for your medical needs.

How Can Doug Lauenstein Help?

The dedicated attorneys at Doug Lauenstein Law have years of experience assisting clients in the formation of advance medical directives, wills, powers of attorney, and other critical estate planning documents. We believe everyone should be able to have a voice and enact their will, even when they are physically unable to—and these vital documents will do just that. For more information, contact us today.