When you reach the end of your life, you may not be able to adequately make decisions, or express your wishes. This is often due to restricted mental capacity, often caused by illness. Your family, doctors, and other medical professionals need to know what your wants are so that they can be followed. In order to plan for this, health care directives, living wills and do-not-resuscitate orders are three things that you want to have in place.
Do-not-resuscitate orders mean that healthcare professionals will not try heroic measures to save you if you become severely ill or die. They will not do things like perform CPR or put you on a ventilator if these actions are necessary to save your life.
Living wills are a type of advanced directive that tell doctors and your loved ones what you want if you become terminally ill. It is important that you couple this with a health care power of attorney to ensure that all of your wishes are respected.
Health Care Directives
Health care directives allow you to make decisions for your health care in advance of illness. This means that you get the chance to tell your doctors exactly what you want and do not want should you become ill. This prevents you from having to go through medical treatments that you would not agree to at full mental capacity.
You can craft all three of these when you are healthy and adequately able to make decisions. However, it is important to not wait until you are ill to put these into place because you want these directives ready and prepared in advance.