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What are advance directives?

Dr. Silk talks about advance directives. Click play to watch the video  read the transcript.

 

 

Advance directives are legal paperwork that give you the opportunity to make decisions in writing about what you prefer your end-of-life care to be, before you are not capable of doing so, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

These documents give you a chance to let your family, friends and health care team know your wishes so there is no confusion or disagreement later, according to the NIH.

The NIH states that the types of advance directives available, regarding your medical care, include:

  • Living will – A living will tells what types of care you would want if you were dying or permanently unconscious. You have the choice to accept or refuse medical care. You should include instruction on
    • The use of breathing machines and dialysis
    • Whether or not you want to be resuscitated if your heart or breathing stop
    • The use of feeding tubes
    • Organ and tissue donation
  • Durable Power of attorney for health care – This document lets you name a health care proxy, which is someone you trust to make health decisions for you if you are not able to.

Though it might be difficult or seem uncomfortable to think about end-of-life decisions while you are alive and well, having your wishes outlined in advance can take stress off of loved ones and ensure your wishes are followed, according to the American Hospital Association.

For more information about advance directives, talk with your physician.

Learn more:

Source: Anessa Alappatt, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; Geetha Ambalavanan, MD, Fairborn Medical Center; Meghan Brewster, MD, Beavercreek Family Medicine; Sally McIntyre, MD, Belmont Physicians; Angelia Mickle, DNP, Jamestown Family Medicine; Cindy Smith, MD, West Carrollton Family Medicine; Dori Thompson, MD, Springboro Family Medicine