Preparing your advance health care directive in New York can bring you peace of mind. It can be a comfort knowing that your wishes will be met once you are no longer able to make your own decisions about your health care.
What is an advance health care directive?
An advance health care directive is a huge part of care planning that sometimes includes a person designated as power of attorney. If you become incapacitated and can no longer make decisions about your medical care, an advance health care directive will let doctors and other medical professionals know what you want.
The document is the same as a living will, which explains your wishes if you are unable to make decisions for yourself due to an illness or injury. It can also explain whether you want your life prolonged in a situation where you may take a turn for the worse.
What is the purpose of an advance health care directive?
When you are care planning, an advance health care directive can serve as an important document that protects you in the event that you are unable to communicate in the future. It can be used alongside another legal document, such as a will, and could protect you through the following ways:
- You are able to set specific types of health care, such as resuscitating efforts or do-not-resuscitate orders, food or water being artificially given and more. These types of care can be requested or rejected if a person is in a coma or terminally ill, so writing your wishes down makes things clear for medical providers and family members alike.
- You can appoint a trusted person to act on your behalf by making health care decisions for you when you’re unable to do so yourself. That person can ensure that the care you wish to have is carried out.
Do you need extra documentation?
You may want to include one or two additional documents to go with your advance health care directive. Usually, there is the need for a living will or some other legal document that explains your wishes in any given scenario. A medical power of attorney may also be wise to have as it appoints a person to act as your agent. This person can make other decisions about your medical care in addition to what you have in your advance health care directive. For example, they can switch your doctors. The goal is to ensure that you’re taken care of when you can’t make those decisions for yourself.