#1 Advance directives are all about death and no one wants to talk about it.
Completing advance directives is empowering and supports you in making the right decisions about how you want to live; it’s more about living than dying. It’s aligning your beliefs and values with choices for your healthcare options. Once the conversation is started, people are surprised at the knowledge they obtained and are interested in having conversations with their healthcare providers and families.
#2 I don’t need to write down my wishes, my spouse/family knows what I want.
If you don’t have a written advance directive and you are not able to speak for yourself, the state’s interests in preserving life outweigh the individual’s right to refuse treatment. If you have a designated power of attorney for healthcare to speak for you, they can voice your choice and enables them to make decisions for you. If not, according to law, a surrogate will be appointed to make decisions for you; a guardian, a spouse, an adult child, a parent, a sibling, a grandchild, a close friend or a guardian of your estate (in that order). It is much easier and less stressful for your family and medical team to have a clearly written plan of what you want or don’t want.
#3 You must meet with an attorney to complete advance directives.
If you are concerned that you can’t afford an attorney to complete your advance directives, no need to worry. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to complete advance directives or complete them with an attorney. You do, however, need to use good health decision tools to help you clarify your wishes and name your power of attorney for healthcare. And once completed with witness signatures, you have to talk to your healthcare provider and, most importantly, your power of attorney for healthcare and your family. You want everyone to know what you want and provide them with copies of the paperwork. Additionally, you should bring a copy with you to the hospital, nursing home or clinic so it can be scanned into your healthcare record. I suggest an annual review of the document to make sure nothing has changed or to make the edits required.
” Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” – Confucius