Your Knowledgeable North Georgia Law Firm

Your Knowledgeable North Georgia Law Firm

3 medical issues people can address in an advance directive

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Estate Planning

There are some estate planning documents that specifically address what happens after death. There are others that exist to protect people while they are still alive. Powers of attorney are important for those concerned about their vulnerability as they age or battle certain health challenges.

Advance directives can also be crucial to the protection of patients worried about the healthcare they receive. An advance directive is a legal estate planning document recognized by healthcare providers and courts in Georgia. An advance directive allows someone to guide the medical care they receive if they experience an emergency that renders them unconscious, incapacitated or incapable of communicating with others.

The designation of a healthcare agent

One of the most important inclusions in an advance directive is the nomination of a trusted individual to make medical choices on someone’s behalf. People used to draft separate documents, including medical powers of attorney, for this purpose. However, there’s now space within the standard advance directive form in Georgia to nominate someone to make healthcare choices on behalf of the principal drafting the documents.

The care preferences of an individual

An advance directive can provide very clear statements about an individual’s medical preferences. Perhaps they feel very strongly about not receiving any medication developed using stem cell research. Maybe their religion forbids blood transfusions. These crucial details about care preferences and expectations are important inclusions in advance directives. They can guide healthcare professionals and family members who may struggle to recall someone’s preferences during an emergency.

What happens at the end of treatment

Some people would prefer to have medical professionals use life-sustaining technology temporarily when their health declines to allow for an anatomical gift. Such gifts can make a direct positive impact on those struggling with medical conditions. People can also provide guidance about the final disposition of their bodies and whether or not to perform an autopsy after they die.

As difficult as it can be to consider, addressing the possibility of an incapacitating emergency is a smart estate planning move. Those with thorough plans in place can feel confident about receiving appropriate care regardless of their circumstances.