If you were too ill or damaged to voice your wishes, what kind of medical treatment would you want? Advance directives are legal agreements that allow you to plan ahead of time for your end-of-life care. They let you communicate your wishes to family, friends, and healthcare providers while also preventing future uncertainty.
If you are dying or chronically unconscious, a living will specify which treatments you choose. You have the option of accepting or rejecting medical treatment. It’s possible that you’ll wish to include instructions on
- Dialysis and breathing machines are both used.
- If your breathing or heartbeat stops, you want to be resuscitated.
- feeding through a tube
- Donation of organs or tissues
A healthcare durable power of attorney is a document that names your health-care proxy. If you are unable to make health decisions for yourself, your proxy is someone you trust to do so on your behalf.