Is An Advanced Medical Directive Necessary?

Comprehensive in scope, practical in application and meaningful in effect, an Advanced Medical Directive is one of the most important estate planning documents available today. It tells physicians and loved ones how much, or how little, end of life care is desired. This simple document can resolve some of the most vexing questions families must answer when a family member nears the end of life.

Day 12.04 will you wake up another day?
(Photo credit: Frerieke)

An Advanced Medical Directive covers many potential medical situations. Typically, it will address the utilization of feeding tubes and when treatment should be ended. Some people also include their wishes with respect to the use of pain-medications in their directives.

Many people fear this type of document because they believe it permits other people to make medical decisions for them. The opposite is true. An Advanced Medical Directive does not come into effect unless you are mentally incapable of expressing your own wishes at the time treatment is rendered. Then, a person of your choosing may make decisions on your behalf. This will likely be more amenable to the average person than a stranger making these decisions.

Despite popular myths, Advanced Medical Directives cannot request euthanasia, mercy killing, or assisted suicide in California.

Nothing can replace a thoughtful and open conversation with one’s family. An Advanced Medical Directive is the next best thing. For assistance in preparing an Advanced Medical Directive that meets your needs, feel free to contact us at (626) 696-3145.

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