Whether you are in good health or experiencing
a chronic medical condition, your doctor should be a partner in developing
an Advance Directive. Your doctor is a key part of your future health
TALK TO YOUR FAMILY AND FREINDS
You can help others respect your wishes if you take some steps now to make your treatment preferences clear.
Since you cannot predict every possible future medical situation, discuss the values and beliefs about life’s quality that help you make your decisions.
What do you want treatment to accomplish? Would you want to receive treatment to prolong your life, whatever your quality of life?
Or, if life-sustaining treatment could not restore you to a level of quality of life you find acceptable, would you want to stop treatment?
Once you have identified the quality of life you find acceptable, your family and physicians can make medical decisions for you on the basis of these values.
If treatment would help achieve one of your goals, the treatment would be provided. If treatment would not help achieve one of your goals, the treatment would not be provided.
TALK TO YOUR DOCTORS
Your doctor is an important participant in creating an Advance Directive. Discuss the kinds of medical problems you may face, based on your current health and health history. Your doctor can help you understand the treatment choices your agent may face. Share your ideas for instructions with your doctor to make sure medical care providers can understand them.
Your Advance Directive should be part of a continuing conversation between you, your physician, family, and close friends. Discuss the kinds of care you want, the kinds of care you don’t want, and your values related to an acceptable quality of life.
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