Advanced Directives : Your Medical Rights for Life, Death or Care

By MAYS Latest Reply 2011-02-04 22:13:05 -0600
Started 2011-02-03 19:03:57 -0600

Advance directives center around the principles of your right to die and death with dignity. With an advance directive, you can express how much or how little you want done for you when you are no longer able to make these decisions.

An advance directive tells your doctor what kind of care you would like to have if you become unable to make medical decisions (if you are in a coma, for example).

If you are admitted to the hospital, the hospital staff will probably talk to you about advance directives.

A good advance directive describes the kind of treatment you would want depending on how sick you are. For example, the directives would describe what kind of care you want if you have an illness that you are unlikely to recover from, or if you are permanently unconscious.

Advance directives usually tell your doctor that you don't want certain kinds of treatment. However, they can also say that you want a certain treatment no matter how ill you are.

Advance directives can take many forms. Laws about advance directives are different in each state. You should be aware of the laws in your state.

This type of document is very important, and necessary.
It will provide assurance that your most desired "Medical Right to Life" request are carried out in case of an emergency.

If you have any legal questions regarding these documents, we recommend contacting your state attorney general's office or an attorney.


14 replies

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-02-04 22:13:05 -0600 Report

My Dad had decided on no extreme and/or certain artificial means to sustain his life in his advance directives, but did not state what he considered met the criteria.. During his last few days of life he felt that an oxygen mask that pushed O2 in and out of his lungs constituted as artificial measures. My Mom just thought he didn't feel comfortable with the mask on his face. He managed to whisper to one of my sister's that he did not wish to have this type of life support at one point when he was conscious.The Dr.s would not have used it if he had written that out in his advance directive.

BandonBob 2011-02-04 11:11:47 -0600 Report

Along with the advanced directive you always want an advocate with your power of attorney to see that those wishes are carried out. When my wife passed in Palm Springs the last four days she was moved from the hospital into a nursing facility. Despite the directive they wanted to put a feeding tube down and take other extreme measures. With my help and the help of the local hospice we convinced the people to let hospice take over her treatment and she was able to have her wishes carried out. It is worth noting that there are hospitals, doctors and nurses who do not agree with the directives and want to take the extreme efforts to save every person. The one nurse told me I had to let my wife have her life back although she was unable to do anything for herself, was blind, could not hear. I asked if they could go back and restore her mobility, sight and hearing and she said no but she'll be alive. Alive for what?

re1ndeer 2011-02-03 19:39:52 -0600 Report

Hi Mays. In our state we get a booklet, when you enter the hospital, it is called

I received one last year, when I was hospitalized.

The 'FIVE WISHES' are:
1) The person I want to make decisions for me when I can't.
2) The Kind of medical treatment I want or don't want.
3) How comfortable I want to be.
4) How I want people to treat me.
5) What I want my loved ones to know

In the booklet you fill out each of the 5 sections, and then have it notorized, then give it to your primary doctor, who in turn will keep in on file till you are admitted to the hospital. In which, they will look at your booklet and do what you wanted.

GabbyPA 2011-02-03 21:48:57 -0600 Report

This is a great idea. Is there a place on line where we could print one up, or is it just those questions? I have a notary that could do that for me and my husband.

MAYS 2011-02-03 22:37:58 -0600 Report

Click on the second link in the discussion above, it will have a page for each state.

MAYS 2011-02-03 20:17:06 -0600 Report

Thank you for the information.
I truly believe that this is a very serious issue that people try to either ignore, or do not want to take seriously, yet it can cause many problems when the issue comes up but has never been addressed.


CaliKo 2011-02-03 19:57:02 -0600 Report

I've seen that one in Texas, too. I haven't gotten it every time I've been admitted, though. I think its a good idea.

MAYS 2011-02-03 20:19:16 -0600 Report

Have you ever considered one?

CaliKo 2011-02-03 22:45:36 -0600 Report

I did sign one the first time the hospital staff gave me one, years ago. Maybe that's why they don't keep giving me one. :-) 2011-02-03 21:58:51 -0600 Report

I know I have ,but I just don't know how to go about it. I think I'll write it up on a paper & have it noterized. Boy I've got a world of info tonight! Great place to come!

MAYS 2011-02-03 22:39:20 -0600 Report

Click on the second link in the discussion above, it will have a page for each state.