Advance health directives are legal documents that express your preferences for medical care should you become unable to communicate them yourself. A well-drafted directive may reduce confusion among your loved ones and help ensure that care providers respect your wishes.
Creating advance health care directives is not simple, but it may help to have specific goals. Aiming to achieve the following crucial yet overlooked objectives can guide the rest of your medical decisions.
Clarity: Leave no room for doubt
Imagine your loved ones facing agonizing medical decisions for you. The last thing you want is confusion clouding their judgment. To achieve clarity in your advance directive:
- Be specific: Avoid vague language. Instead, list any interventions you do or do not want, like artificial respiration.
- Use plain language: Avoid medical jargon. Choose words everyone understands, like pain medication instead of analgesics.
- Address different scenarios: Consider various possibilities, from coma to chronic illness. Outline your preferences for each situation.
Remember that the clearer your directive is, the easier it is for your loved ones to advocate on your behalf.
Choice: Empower your voice
A health care directive is not just about what you do not want. It also allows you to express your priorities and values. It should reflect:
- Quality of life: Specify your desired comfort and independence level, even if it means saying no to some treatments.
- Spiritual beliefs: If faith plays a role in your medical decisions, mention religious practices you would like to continue.
- Family well-being: Consider how your choices might affect your family. Express your wishes regarding organ donation or funeral arrangements.
Incorporating values and preferences can help ensure that your advance directive represents your unique perspective.
For additional guidance and to ensure compliance with Texas law, consider having an estate planning professional help you create your advance directives.