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Medical Directive


Medical Directives allow you to express your medical wishes and intentions if you are ever unable to do so, especially regarding artificial life prolonging measures if you are ever terminally ill, permanently unconscious, or in the end-stage of a fatal illness.

Do I need one?

If you over 18, and not disabled, then yes. Since none of us know when we may be confronted with an accident or illness, you should always have a valid and current Medical Directive in place

When do I need one?

When you turn 18 you obtain the legal authority to prepare a Medical Directive.

What happens if I don't have one?

Medical treatment may be delayed as family members and health care providers determine a course of action, especially if there is disagreement, in which case a court may need to become involved.

When is the document effective?

This document becomes effective upon the certification of your incapacity by one or more physicians. The vast majority of powers granted under this document are only effective during your lifetime.

Example of When You Would Need
this Document Per Life Stage

Adulthood

There is no more difficult decision for a parent to make. Having a Medical Directive in place provides guidance for parents in making this most intimate decision. As the American Bar Association points out “Younger adults actually have more at stake, because, if stricken by serious disease or accident, medical technology may keep them alive but insentient for decades. Some of the most well-known “right to die” cases arose from the experiences of young people (e.g., Karen Ann Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan, [and Terri Schiavo]) incapacitated by tragic illnesses or car accidents and maintained on life support.”

Married

Clear guidance as to your intentions may prevent disagreement between well-meaning loved ones including your spouse and parents.

With Kids

Clear instructions of your intentions provides guidance to loved ones when facing end of life decisions.

Moving

Certain states have language that is required by law to be in a Medical Directive.   It’s a good idea to have an attorney licensed in your new home state review your existing legal documents to ensure they will be effective in your new hometown.

Solo

Clear instructions of your intentions provides guidance to loved ones when facing end of life decisions.

There is no more difficult decision for a parent to make. Having a Medical Directive in place provides guidance for parents in making this most intimate decision. As the American Bar Association points out “Younger adults actually have more at stake, because, if stricken by serious disease or accident, medical technology may keep them alive but insentient for decades. Some of the most well-known “right to die” cases arose from the experiences of young people (e.g., Karen Ann Quinlan, Nancy Cruzan, [and Terri Schiavo]) incapacitated by tragic illnesses or car accidents and maintained on life support.”

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