Advance Directives
Wednesday, November 19, 2008

While it seems reasonable that most people would want their wishes carried out should they become too sick or hurt to speak for themselves, less than one in four of us have any type of advance directive. Dr. Edward Hill talks about why this piece of paper is so important in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

An advance directive is a plan for how you would make health care choices if you became very sick.

There are two types of advance directives. One is a living will, and the other is a durable power of attorney for health care.

A living will is a written plan that tells your doctor what you want if you canít make health care decisions for yourself. Your living will tells your doctor if you would want surgery, a feeding tube or a machine to breathe for you.

Durable power of attorney for health care allows you to name someone to make choices for you if you become too sick to do it yourself. This person can only make choices for you if you cannot make them yourself.

Many people have strong feelings about the medical care they would or would not want if they were very sick or badly hurt. An advance directive lets you choose what treatments you want before you become too sick to decide.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.