An advance medical directive is a legal document that sets forth your desires regarding certain medical decisions. This document authorizes one or more persons to make certain medical decisions on your behalf if you are permanently incapacitated. The medical directive will still be in effect if you lose consciousness, but will terminate upon death. Normally a person will name a spouse or child in their Advanced Medical Directive so that the Doctors can talk to them about the medical treatment in the event of mental incapacity.
Outline Your Decisions on :
- Feeding Tubes
- Organ Donation
- Life Support
Because of the Federal Health Information Protection and Portability Act, doctors and medical care providers are prevented from disclosing information about your medical status and care to a third party without some clear authorization to do so.
If you have a family member or close friend that you wish to have access to your health care information and the authority to make decisions for you, the Advance Medical Directive will grant the necessary authorization. Without this document, the individual you wish to have this authority may need to pursue legal action to have a judge grant permission. These scenarios would be costly, can delay proceeding, and could result in someone you did not wish to have the authority being granted that authority.