14 Aug Advance Healthcare Directives: Ensure End-of-Life Care That Meets Your Wishes
End-of-life medical decisions can be difficult for everyone, especially when the person involved can no longer make his wishes known. By completing an advance healthcare directive, you can make your wishes known regardless of your future physical or mental state. Such a document also removes the pressure of decision making from your adult children, spouse, or other family members.
An advance healthcare directive acts as a living will to make your wishes known as well as a medical power of attorney. Essentially, the document tells your family member what action you want taken in certain end-of-life situations and confers on that person the power to make that action possible.
Not all advance healthcare directives are created equal. You can get a standard form from the state or may find sample forms online, but those documents may not be compliant with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) or California’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA). Forms that aren’t compliant with these acts will not make it possible for your agent to access confidential medical records; if your agent can’t speak with healthcare staff or access records, he may not be in a position to act on your end-of-life wishes in an educated fashion.
At CDP, we’ve created a document that answers individual needs while meeting strict healthcare privacy requirements. Although our form is compliant with regulations, we go the extra mile and include a separate HIPPA and CMIA waiver. You can use the waiver to allow healthcare providers to release medical information to your spouse, family member, attorney, or another agent handling your end-of-life care decisions.
Most people don’t want to consider end-of-life decisions until they become essential. Waiting to handle such affairs often means those decisions are being made at the last minute; many times the person involved is no longer mentally or physically able to make decisions or communicate those wishes. Taking the time to record your wishes now is important. Consider making your wishes known about:
- Whether you want to live at home and when you want to be admitted to an assisted living or another facility.
- What measures should be taken to maintain your life if you cannot breath or eat on your own.
- Whether you want to donate organs or other body parts.
CDP’s advance healthcare directive can be tailored to your end-of-life wishes. Address the matters that are most important to you with our form, and remove the stress of those decisions from your loved ones.