You may have faith that your health will remain solid well into your golden years. However, no one knows what the future may hold. There could be a work accident or a car crash that puts you in the hospital.
Those situations will already be very difficult for the people who love you, and they will become infinitely harder to handle when your loved ones don’t have the legal authority or information necessary to take the right steps.
Creating an advance health care directive is a way for you to protect yourself and also the people that you love from an unlikely but very difficult situation. Why are advance healthcare directives so important?
1. Your wishes may deviate from standard practices
What a specific physician or a medical facility believes is the best treatment option isn’t always a reflection of what a patient would prefer. There are certain medications or treatments that you may have a moral or personal objection to undergoing.
For example, some people reject any medicines or treatments developed using stem cells, as abortion may have played a role in the creation of those medical advances. Others may feel strongly about avoiding certain kinds of care, like opioid pain management, out of concern about how their body will handle such treatment.
If you have strong medical preferences, it may be in your best interest to make your wishes known in a document that also gives authority to those who can uphold your wishes.
2. Your loved ones could make mistakes about your care
However much you love and trust your spouse or other family members, people’s brains don’t function normally during times of intense stress. When you add sleep deprivation, which is common for people to experience while waiting at a hospital, you have a recipe for someone making a major mistake regarding the healthcare that you receive.
Even if you have talked at length with your spouse or other family members about your wishes in the past, they may not be able to remember your preferences during a stressful emergency scenario. In fact, they might misremember and then find themselves struggling with the guilt of providing the wrong guidance to the medical facility.
The act of committing your preferences to writing helps take the pressure off of your loved ones and will give them comfort and clarity when speaking on your behalf in a medical setting. The time you take to address your potential future medical needs will protect you and also the people that you love the most and who would struggle the most if you were to experience a major medical emergency.
Adding a health care directive to your Minnesota estate plan will benefit you and your immediate family.