While no Missouri resident likes to think about the possibility of medical emergencies or incapacity, having an advance medical directive is a crucial step in ensuring that your wishes are respected and your loved ones are spared from making difficult decisions on your behalf. An advance medical directive is a key legal document that outlines your preferences for medical treatment and care in case you are unable to communicate your wishes due to an illness or injury.
Personalized healthcare decisions
An advance medical directive is an estate planning tool that allows you to express your healthcare preferences based on your values, beliefs and wishes. You can outline the types of treatments you do or do not want, including life-sustaining measures such as artificial ventilation, feeding tubes or resuscitation.
Relieving burden on loved ones
In times of medical crisis, family members have the challenging task of making healthcare decisions for a loved one who cannot communicate. Having an advance medical directive can relieve your family from this burden by providing clear guidance on your wishes by reducing potential conflicts among family members.
Ensuring quality of life
An advance medical directive allows you to specify the level of medical intervention you desire, ensuring that medical procedures are aligned with your desired quality of life. This can prevent unnecessary suffering and invasive procedures that may not align with your values.
Avoiding legal battles
Without clear instructions, family members may have differing opinions on medical decisions, potentially leading to legal disputes. An advance medical directive minimizes the chances of such conflicts, as your wishes are legally documented.
Healthcare providers’ guidance
Medical professionals often turn to advance medical directives to make informed decisions when patients are unable to communicate. Having your preferences documented can guide healthcare providers in delivering the care you desire.
Planning for end-of-life care
An advance medical directive also covers end-of-life care decisions, such as palliative care, hospice care and organ donation preferences. This guarantees that your wishes regarding your final moments are respected.
Financial and emotional relief
Unexpected medical procedures and treatments can come with significant financial costs. By detailing your medical preferences, you can prevent unnecessary expenses that may not align with your preferences. By sparing your loved ones from making difficult choices, you can ease emotional stress during an already challenging time for all.