Advance, health care directives, is a term commonly used to describe a legal document that allows you to appoint someone, such as a friend or relative, to make medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so. Almost anyone can prepare an advanced health care directive.
However, to be effective, the order must be prepared by a person authorized to do so under the law. Your health care agent can be your attorney-in-fact, someone authorized by law to act as your agent under health care power of attorney statutes, or a friend or other person with whom you have a close personal relationship. A healthcare agent is someone you can name to have the authority to make medical decisions for you when you cannot do so.
Advanced health care directives are different from health power of attorney or durable powers of attorney. A durable power of attorney does not allow for progressive directions. An advanced notice can be used by anyone, regardless of age or ability. However, a power of attorney is typically prepared only by an adult or a minor child with the mental capacity to make independent decisions about their care and welfare.
The instructions, findings, and preferences you include in your advanced health care directive are essential. Your education, decisions, and priorities are legally binding on your healthcare provider if they are consistent with state law. There is no specific format for preparing an advance health care directive.
What To Consider When Preparing Your Healthcare Directive?
There are a few things to consider when preparing advanced healthcare directives.
The first is that you should prepare for it before you experience a medical crisis. Most states recognize that mentally competent adults have the right to formulate advanced health care directives and the ability to change them at any time. However, the person specified as your Health Care Agent may not have access to your medical records until named by you as your health care agent.
The second thing to consider is the type of person you want to be your healthcare agent. A friend or family member who is not a licensed healthcare professional can serve as your healthcare agent. However, someone who is not a licensed healthcare professional does not have the legal authority to make certain medical decisions for you.
The third thing to consider is that your healthcare agent should be an individual willing and able to serve as your healthcare agent in all capacities. This includes being willing and able to understand your wishes, as well as being conscientious about following the directions you have set out for them.
A health care directive has many benefits. It allows you to have greater control over your health care, including the ability to name someone you trust as your health care agent who has the legal authority to make medical decisions on your behalf when you are not able to do so.
Steps For Preparing Your Healthcare Directive:
There are three basic steps in the preparation of your healthcare directive.
The first is to identify a potential healthcare agent who can legally serve as your healthcare agent.
The second thing to consider when selecting a potential healthcare agent is whether they will have the ability to understand and follow the instructions that you have provided for them.
The third thing you should ask yourself when selecting a potential healthcare agent is whether they will be able to be conscientious about carrying out your instructions, regardless of their personal feelings. After identifying your potential healthcare agent, you should prepare a copy of your advance healthcare directive.
The next step is to provide the specific instructions, decisions, and preferences you would like your healthcare agent to follow. You should make sure you include any medical history of your own, as well as family medical history.
It would help if you also considered comments on various forms of treatment that may be appropriate for you, such as terminal illness, debilitating disease or condition, alternative therapies, and desired outcomes for any alternative therapies.
To learn more about healthcare directives, you can reach out to this law firm that focuses on estate planning.
The importance of advanced health care directives cannot be underestimated. If you are experiencing a medical crisis, injured, or hospitalized, you can safeguard your rights by preparing an advance health care directive.
As detailed above, there are a few things to consider when designing an advanced health care directive. You should also make sure that your potential healthcare agent is willing and able to serve as the person designated by you to make medical decisions for you in all capacities. Your healthcare agent should also understand and be ready to follow your instructions, regardless of personal feelings.