When a serious accident can happen at any time, it is important to think about how you would want a health professional to treat you in the event you cannot communicate your wishes.
Advance directives are the most common way to do this. These legal documents detail the treatments or type of care you can receive if you are not able to make these decisions yourself.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the stress that you may feel when thinking about this scenario is common. One benefit to legally documenting your wishes is that it gives you peace of mind in case the worst happens.
You can also avoid unwanted or invasive procedures in the event of an accident. Thinking seriously about what medical procedures you want can help your loved ones avoid unneeded stress.
Avoiding medical confusion
Writing out your wishes can also prevent miscommunication among family members who may have to make serious choices in your place. Arguments may arise if people misremember or misunderstand what you verbally other people. However, they can always look at written documentation for reference if you choose to craft them.
Being as specific as possible about what treatments you do or do not want is one way to be proactive in your medical health.
Receiving help from others
Part of this process includes choosing a health care agent. This person is typically a trusted friend or relative that you rely on to make choices in your place.
Whether it is end-of-life decisions or medical issues like CPR and dialysis, this person will have the final say if you cannot communicate. Advance directives are a practical way to plan for your future.