As an adult, it is crucial to consider your healthcare and potential complications. Advance directives can help ensure that no matter what happens in the future, you can still make decisions about your health care.
However, sometimes someone other than yourself may attempt to override your wishes about medical treatments or decision-making. Is someone allowed to make changes to your documented requests?
Why should you have advance directives?
Advance directives are legal documents that provide medical care instructions if you cannot communicate your wishes. They allow you to express your preferences about end-of-life care beforehand so that your wishes are known and respected.
Advance directives can include a variety of instructions, such as whether or not you wish to be kept on life support in the event of terminal illness or sudden disability, what types of treatments you do or don’t want, who should make decisions for you if you are incapacitated, and so on.
Even though your advance directive is a legal document, there may be situations where a doctor or other healthcare provider believes that following the directive would cause harm to the patient. In this case, they may choose to ignore the directive to protect the patient’s health and safety.
It’s also important to remember that advance directives can become outdated over time due to changes in medical technology or treatments available. You should review and update your advance directive every few years to ensure that it reflects your current wishes and preferences.
Advance directives are essential for ensuring that your wishes are respected when it comes to end-of-life care decisions. It also provides assurance and peace of mind for your family to know what you want, removing their burden of making difficult choices.