Twitter Forum Highlights the Importance of Advance Directives

Posted on Mar 03, 2013

Dr. Richard Besser, the chief health and medical correspondent for ABC News, recently hosted a tweet chat on death. Panel experts included representatives from the Conversation Project, AARP, and Agingcare.com as well as hospice representatives, caregivers, and patients from all over the country. These people tweeted out advice and resources during the chat.

Death is inevitable. Although a person cannot control when and how he dies, he may be able to control certain circumstances so that he dies the way he wants to. Doing so releases his children and loved ones from making critical decisions about his medical treatment.

A healthy person should take the opportunity to talk seriously about the type of care he wants (and doesn’t want) in his final days. Having this conversation honors loved ones by keeping them informed.

It’s just as important that each person should prepare an “advance care directive.” An advance health care directive may also be referred to as a living will, personal directive, advance directive, or advance decision. An advance directive is a set of written instructions that specifies what actions a person wants taken if he is too ill or too incapacitated to make medical decisions.

An advance directive and in-person conversations serve as a roadmap for family members. Without these guidelines, the family members would have to decide what sorts of medical interventions the person should receive. If a person’s family were not available, the medical team would have to make those critical determinations. Knowing a person’s wishes in advance removes guesswork, and may eliminate fighting over which medical interventions should be attempted or skipped.

Is it time for you to consider what end-of-life care you may want? Contact our Orange County trust administration attorneys for more information. You may reach us by calling (714) 459-5481 or by filling out an online contact form.

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James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm