Advanced Medical Directive
An advanced medical directive, also called a “living will”, is a specific legal document outlining both the agent or designated representative to make healthcare decisions in even of incapacity with instruction on specific limits or lack of limits on what medical treatment is permitted. The document is a way to have some control over the dignity in which the experience any brush with their mortality.
Many elderly people opt for “Do Not Resuscitate” (DNR) order. For some who experience a loss of all or some life support systems in their body the risk of coma or intrusive life support intervention brings both the risk of extended pain and risk of either permanent coma or permanent reliance on life support. Many elderly opt to forego intrusive life support measures.
Additionally, religion conviction may also dictate what guidance you may include in your advanced medical directive. Such guidance can address the use of pain management and other medical practices.
Most hospitals will provide a general living will to any patient undergoing anesthesia. To make sure your wishes are specifically laid out for you and not address by a templated document, make sure you execute an advanced medical directive as part of your estate plan.