Advance Directives

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to convey your decisions about end-of-life care ahead of time. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about advance directives in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

An advance directive is a legal document that says how you want to be cared for if you are unable to make decisions. You can include what medical treatments you would want and who you would trust to make decisions for you.

An advance directive can also include other legal documents. A living will is a list of treatment preferences. It can be used to indicate whether you would want cardiopulmonary resuscitation, tube feedings, a breathing machine or certain medicines, like antibiotics.

The durable power of attorney for health care document identifies the person you would want to make medical decisions for you.

Be specific on advance directive forms. Avoid terms like terminally ill or no heroics. These words can mean different things to different people. Try to emphasize what is most important to you in a variety of situations.

Your advance directive can be changed or canceled any time. It is important to continue discussing your wishes with your doctor and proxy.

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