Writing an Advance Directive - Why an Advance Directive Is Important
advance directive is important in case something
happens to you and you can't speak for yourself. It gives you control over your
own medical care if you're badly hurt or if you develop a serious illness and you
can't make your own medical decisions. It's also very important for your family
and your doctor. They can use the information in your advance directive to make
choices for you if you can't make them yourself.
living will and a medical power of attorney are the
main types of advance directives.
Administration on Aging
Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving
Family Caregiver Alliance
Housing and Urban Development
National Alliance for Caregiving
National Center for Assisted Living
National Hospice and Palliative Care Center
If you don't
have a living will and a health care agent, a person other than your family
member may decide what kind of care you receive. A decision may be made by a
doctor who doesn't know you, or it may even be made by the courts. In some
states, you need to make clear and give permission in your advance directive
that you don't want to be fed through a tube or receive other kinds of life
Sometimes you and your family may need help agreeing on the best way to meet your medical needs. Eldercare mediation can help families work together.