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Do You Have An Advance Directive?

More and more, it is becoming evident that having an advance directive is essential to ensuring that your healthcare preferences are fully considered. At Santé, we understand the necessity of accurate information and guidance throughout the advance directive process and are happy to share our expertise with our valued patients.

What is an advance directive?

An advance directive, also referred to as a living will, is a document that communicates your end-of-life wishes with your family and caregivers. A living will is only used to guide important medical decisions when you are physically and mentally unable to make them yourself and you meet criteria for living will law in your state (usually this means terminal illness). Furthermore, your ability to make decisions must be evaluated by at least two physicians, who must agree that you are unable to make decisions before your living will takes effect.

What does an advance directive cover?

Generally speaking, an advance directive covers which treatments you want or don’t want to receive should you be seriously injured or ill. Some of the interventions guided by an advance directive include whether you want to:

  • Receive CPR if your heart stops beating
  • Connect to a ventilator if you stop breathing
  • Be fed through a tube if you can’t eat or drink or your own
  • Take certain medications that extend life

When should you consider an advance directive?

While many people never consider an advance directive until they reach old age or are diagnosed with a serious illness, not all patients have the privilege of knowing in advance that they may be faced with and unable to make these decisions. The best way to ensure your wishes are communicated and honored is to put an advance directive in place before you many actually need it.

While it can be difficult to make these decisions, you don’t have to do it alone. Be sure to get support from your medical team, attorney, family, or friends.

To learn more about the importance of advance directives, reach out to our caring professionals at Santé today.

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