Nearly 75% of survey respondents reported they did not have an advance medical directive in a 2014 study conducted by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. An advance medical directive may be a general power of attorney for healthcare matters, a directive to physicians, a living will, or any combination of those – in essence any document or documents which appoint an agent to make healthcare related decisions for you if you are not able to make them for yourself and gives instruction to that agent about what healthcare decisions you would make for yourself if you were able.
The main reason why the respondents without these documents stated they did not have advance medical directives in place was a “lack of awareness.” So, what were they not aware of?
In Nevada, the Power of Attorney for Healthcare allows you to do the following:
- Nominate an agent (and alternate agents) to act on your behalf if you are unable to;
- Outlines your wishes regarding medical treatment and end of life decisions; and
- Nominates a person to serve as a guardian over you should the need arise.
The Directive to Physicians is a statement of your desires regarding end of life decisions directed to your physician should the time come where your agent must make an end of life decision on your behalf.
Having these documents in place can help avoid situations like Aden Hailu’s, discussed in a previous blog by Michael D. Lum, Esq., where families and physicians are gridlocked and unable to make end of life decisions for a loved one.
Contact an attorney at the law offices of JEFFREY BURR to discuss any questions you may have about advance health care directives.