You may not feel that creating a written advance directive is something you want to bother with. Most people don’t want to face their own mortality and put off leaving any kind of written instructions for how they want things handled in the event they can’t make decisions for themselves. However, none of us knows how long we’ll have on this earth, or what shape we’ll be in while we’re here. Having an advance directive simply allows you to make decisions now for what you’ll want if and when you can no longer make decisions for yourself.
An advance directive doesn’t mean that you are giving up your choices for the future. In fact, a Durable Power of Attorney does not go into effect unless two doctors, or a doctor and a psychologist, agree that you no longer understand the risks and benefits of a particular course of action. In that event, the person named in the document becomes your officially appointed spokesperson.
There are many advance directive forms you can use to note who you think should be making decisions for you. You’ll need to choose that person carefully as you’ll want someone who will support your wishes. There is an obligation on the part of the person you appoint, who accepts the appointment, to do what you have asked be done.
Without an advance directive, your family, your spouse, and your doctors will get equal say in what is done to you, so it’s important for you to take the time to create an advance directive. You may go on line and find a variety of forms that will lead you through the process. The peace of mind it will bring is worth whatever effort you put into it.