An advance medical directive is a document people will complete and sign while they are healthy that will give them some control over medical decisions that they otherwise might not be able to make for themselves.
As people age, it becomes more and more likely that they will undergo medical treatment or need care and not be mentally or physically able to share their wishes with medical staff.
Likewise, too many Louisiana residents suffer from an unexpected accident or sudden illness which leaves them unable to speak for themselves when it comes to their care.
For those Baton Rouge residents who take the time to prepare the as part of the estate planning process, advance medical directives give both family members and doctors and nurses some guidance as to their wishes.
There are a few basic types of advance medical directives, all of which accomplish slightly different purposes.
For example, a person can execute a durable power of attorney for health care, which some may refer to as a medical power of attorney or by some other name.
This document allows a person to appoint a trusted loved one or other trustworthy person to make medical decision on the person’s behalf if the person cannot do so.
It applies whenever a person cannot speak for himself or herself. Unless there are some limits, the appointed decisionmaker can even make decisions involving life and death.
A living will is another type of advance medical directive. With a living will, a person can specify in writing what types of care he or she wants or would rather not accept. Unlike a medical power of attorney, it only applies when a person would not survive without medical intervention.