IV. Health Care Directives
Each state allows an individual to express his/her wishes of treatment in certain medical situations—life-threatening or other injuries—and to appoint a health care agent to speak on his/her behalf if he/she is unable. These documents are referred to as “health care directives”, “living wills” or “health care proxies”, varying state to state. Living Wills are declarations that provide for the avoidance of extraordinary measures if you are in a permanent vegetative state, end-stage condition or terminal condition. Health care decisions may be delegated to an Agent who may make those medical decisions in accordance with a “best interest” standard. Some things you may want to consider when choosing your healthcare agent: Can he/she understand important medical information in regards to your treatment? Can he/she handle the stress of making difficult decisions? Can he/she keep your interests and wishes in mind while making those decisions?