Adopt Advance Medical Directives for Health Care

At some point in your life, you may become incompetent; that is, lacking the mental capacity to make or communicate responsible health-care decisions for yourself. Without directions to the contrary, medical professionals are generally compelled to make every effort to save and sustain your life. Depending on your attitude toward various medical treatments and your views on the quality of life, you may wish to take steps now to control your future health-care decisions. The laws of your state may allow you to do so by adopting one or more advance medical directives. Advance medical directives allow you to manage your future medical care. There are three main types of advance medical directives: (1) a living will, (2) a durable power of attorney for health care (DPAHC) (also called a health-care proxy), and (3) a do not resuscitate (DNR) order. Each of these has unique characteristics, and each one is useful under specific circumstances. You may find that one, two, or all three advance medical directives are necessary to express all your wishes regarding medical treatment.

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