Thinking about the end of your life may give you a lingering sense of fear. However, learning more about the types of advance directives can help put you at ease.
These legal documents ensure that you get the choice of what medical decision you want in case of a life-threatening health concern.
Treatment while unconscious
According to the Mayo Clinic, a living will is a written document that tells doctors what procedures you want in case you cannot tell them yourself. You may be in a coma or otherwise unable to communicate with the outside world.
Putting in writing whether you want treatments like tube feeding or dialysis is important for doctors to know. Other issues, such as whether or not you want to donate organs, can impact people other than just yourself.
Power of attorney
Choosing a close family member or spouse to make choices for you in the event of a serious health concern is a common kind of advance directive. Making sure this person will fulfill your wishes is important, so you need to choose someone who you trust deeply.
This agent is usually someone other than your doctor. He or she should also not be afraid to make tough or unpopular decisions as long as they honor your choices.
End of life choices
Knowing when to switch to palliative care near the end of life is important. This kind of care focuses on making sure you are comfortable and happy instead of focusing on treatments.
Some people may prefer to update their wishes every ten years or so, since their mindsets may change over time. Learning more about advance directives can help you make important healthcare decisions.