What is an Advance Directive?
Do you remember the story of Terri Schiavo? While her situation was unfortunate, it sparked a conversation among families around the country. What would you want in a medical emergency? And who do you want to make decisions for you?
An Advanced Directive allows you to make medical decisions in advance of an emergency and name an agent to carry them out. It is also called a Living Will. An Advance Directive lets you tell your family and medical providers what is important for your quality of life. It’s important to let your loved ones know if you would want to continue medical treatments or not in the event that your quality of life decreases significantly. Your doctors will ask about your Advance Directive if you are unable to make decisions or communicate for yourself.
If you have to go to the hospital for any reason you have probably been asked if you have an Advance Directive or Living Will. While it’s important to have your wishes in writing, it’s even more important to to educate and prepare your loved ones in case they ever need to make difficult decisions about your care. Talking about your wishes with your family can assure them that they are doing the right thing by you in difficult times.
How to have this conversation with loved ones
Here is a resource that I really like from The Conversation Project.
While it can be difficult to have this conversation, it is incredibly important that your family knows how you would want to be treated in an emergency situation. So please check out The Conversation Project and reach out to your loved ones to begin this conversation.