Health Care Directive Lawyers in Anoka
Why is a health care directive important? A directive ensures that health care wishes are followed if you become physically or mentally incapacitated and are unable to communicate your health care choices to your attending physician.
How to Make a Health Care Directive
There are certain requirements a directive must meet to be legal.
- The directive must be in writing and dated.
- It must state your name.
- The directive must be signed by you or someone you authorize to sign on your behalf when you understand and can communicate your health care desires.
- A notary public or two witnesses must verify your signature.
- The directive must either state your wishes or appoint a health care agent who will make your health care decisions for you.
With a valid directive, previously called a “living will” or “health care power of attorney,” you can appoint an agent to make medical decisions for you if you are unable to make them yourself due to illness or injury. Your agent must follow any specific instructions you include in your directive.
It is common to appoint a spouse, child, another family member, or close friend to act as a health care agent. Ultimately, your agent should be someone you trust with making the medical decision on your behalf.
Other Information the Directive May Contain
Your instructions may address other topics, including:
- The name of alternative agents in case your first choice is unavailable. You may also name joint agents.
- Your specific goals and preferences regarding health care, reflecting your values.
- The types of medical care you specifically want and do not want.
- The way you want your agent or agents to make decisions.
- Specific instructions about basic life support, such as resuscitation, nutrition, and hydration.
- The use of electroshock therapy or neuroleptic medications.
- Specific directions in case you are pregnant.
- If and how your organs, tissues, and eyes are donated.
- Directions regarding your funeral arrangements.
- The person you want as you guardian or conservator, in case there is a court action.
Some clinics and hospitals provide blanket forms for you to complete. These may not address certain medical decisions you want acted upon or allow your agent to review your medical records. A proper and thorough directive ensures that your family will have access to medical records, the ability to speak with your doctors, and clear direction regarding your wishes.
Put your mind at ease by speaking with an attorney at Bolt Law Firm and ensure your directive meets your desires exactly.