The scope of health care directives

Also known as advance directives, health care directives can form a reassuring and positive way for Floridians to state their wishes for future health care procedures. No matter the age or health status of the person, putting together a health care directive is a great way to establish particular preferences towards later care measures. However, it is a good idea that people interested in making health care directives understand that there are certain limitations to the process.

The National Institute on Aging states that a health care directive is an adjustable statement towards declaring personal preferences regarding care that can be taken by medical professionals during life-sustaining efforts. Important topics to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • The use of ventilators
  • The use of artificial hydration or nutrition
  • The use of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

With each type of care effort, people writing advance directives are recommended to consider particular scenarios in which they would or would not want care. Additionally, people are recommended to consider the type of meaningful life they would want and whether that necessarily means a longer life.

According to the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, communication with health care providers as well as friends and family is a key part of making sure that health care directives are carried out in the best interest of the patient. It can be a good idea to consider how personal preferences towards care might change when writing a living will. Regularly revisiting health care directives and who is granted health care power of attorney is a great idea, since health needs and wants can change drastically over time.

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