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Things to think about when preparing an Advance Medical Directive

October 4, 2011

To go hand in hand with our offer for a free Advance Medical Directive during the month of October in honor of Special Needs month, here are a few questions to ask yourself prior to having your document prepared. Who do you want to name as your health care representative?  Your health care representative will be the individual who makes medical decisions for you should you be unable to do so.  You should choose someone who will follow your wishes, who can expresses these wishes to your medical providers and who can ensure that the medical providers will honor your wishes.  Your health care representative will also be designated as an individual authorized access to your medical information under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA—the same law that makes your doctor hand you a privacy statement every year) Keep in mind, your doctors are only able to discuss your medical condition and care with those you authorize in writing to receive your health care information.  Your named health care representative will have that authority under your Advance Medical Directive.

Another question you need to ask yourself prior to having your document prepared is: what care do you want during your final illness?  You must decide what medical care and treatment you wish  to have during your final illness.  What interventions do you want to continue and what interventions do you want discontinued, such as respiration, nutrition, hydration.

Once you’ve thought these things over, come in to have your Advance Medical Directive prepared.  It’s free during the month of October-what could be better than that?

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