While you may not immediately consider it important when you are in good health, planning for end-of-life scenarios can help you in a serious medical situation.
Advance directives allow medical professionals to know what your wishes are if you are in a coma or otherwise unable to communicate with others. This legal document has numerous benefits, not only for yourself but also for your estate and loved ones.
Ability to choose a proxy
According to the Mayo Clinic, power of attorney allows a trusted person in your life to choose medical treatments or procedures for you. Often, this person is a spouse or a trusted family member.
Having someone advocate for you when you cannot communicate is important for situations that written directives may not cover or that you cannot predict. This includes situations where you may need intubation, dialysis or ventilation.
Ability to specify procedures
In some cases, you may wish to refuse treatment or end-of-life procedures. Perhaps you do not want certain medications or antibiotics while going through palliative care.
This document makes it entirely your choice what happens to you so that you have control over any medical interventions. This includes procedures like donating your body or organs to a medical school for science.
Ability to update after new life events
While you may originally plan for certain events in the future, your personal feelings may change as the years go on. With advance directives, you can always go back and rewrite or redo your original form. Many people choose to update their plans every ten or so years.
This allows you to stay proactive in planning ahead if you get diagnosed with any new condition. Advance directives are flexible and cover a variety of personal wishes.