It’s National Healthcare Decisions Week. Most people understand that advanced planning for medical needs is important, but few people do anything about it. Who will make your medical decisions when you can’t? Have you had the necessary discussions with this person?
Now is the perfect time to begin these discussions to ensure that you are going to receive the medical care you want, to avoid unnecessary suffering, to reduce disagreement amongst your family members, and to relieve your family members of decision making burdens. Everyone should, at a minimum, have a Health Care Power of Attorney. In addition, it is important to consider your desires for life support and feeding tubes. Are you interested in a Do Not Resuscitate Order? Why do you feel this way?
If you do not have these discussions with your loved ones, and complete advanced directives, nobody has the legal authority to act on your behalf. If you do not have a designated health care agent, loved ones may need to spend time and money seeking a guardianship in court in order to make decisions on your behalf.