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To make your wishes known, you must ask hard questions

Planning for the future – especially one’s future care – is important, but it can be a difficult task.

You may know how important it is to establish an advance health care directive to ensure you have a say in your medical care, but this will require the courage to acknowledge and answer some challenging questions.

Choosing an agent is not the only decision

Determining who will speak for you and make medical decisions on your behalf is one of the most important choices you must make. As we have discussed in previous posts, your health care agent should be:

  • Someone you trust
  • Someone who understands your needs
  • Someone who respects your wishes

However, this is not the only decision you must make when you create an advance health care directive.

What questions must you consider in your advance health care directive?

When creating an advance health care directive, you also face some hard questions. After all, advance health care directives often deal with end-of-life decisions. For example, California’s form specifically asks individuals whether they wish to prolong their life or not in the circumstances where they are incapacitated.

Therefore, it is critical to carefully consider your answers to questions such as:

  • Do you want to be on a ventilator if you cannot breathe on your own?
  • Do you want to receive CPR or implement a Do Not Resuscitate order?
  • Do you want tube feeding if you cannot feed yourself?
  • Do you want other life support treatments?

Considering these “what-if” scenarios and confronting these questions can be overwhelming. However, it is crucial to contemplate them and determine what you would want in these situations. That way, you can enforce a plan and make sure your loved ones know your wishes, and you get the care you need.

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