Looking ahead at what medical care you might need in an extreme situation can seem intimidating at first.
In the event of an emergency, advance directives allow you to write legal instructions in case there is a time when you cannot make them for yourself.
Includes an agent
According to the Mayo Clinic, an agent is a person who can stand in for you in the event of a medical emergency where you are unresponsive, such as a coma. The decisions he or she makes will reflect the ones you would have ideally made.
Choosing this person is an important process and people typically pick someone they can rely on, such as a family member or spouse. Trust and a sense of understanding about your health are traits most people look for.
Changes over time
While you may plan perfectly ahead for what you want in the current moment, as the years go by, you can still rewrite your advance directives as your life changes. A new diagnosis or a divorce may push you to rethink some of your first ideas.
Either way, this document can adapt to whatever your new wishes are. For example, some people prefer to have do not resuscitate or do not intubate orders listed on their record.
Specifies types of care
Whether you want dialysis, palliative care or even to donate your entire body to a medical lab, it is all includable in a living will. This ability to choose what kind of procedures you feel comfortable with is important for all people seeking a greater amount of control over this aspect of their health care.
Advance directives have many practical benefits, no matter where you are in life.