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Advance care directives are specific instructions, written in ahead of the time they are needed, that are intended to give instructions regarding a person's medical care if he or she becomes unable to do so at some time. Doing this allows patients to state their wishes regarding health care they want to receive if they get so ill or sustain a life threatening injury that they are not able to state their wishes as to their own care. Advance care directives can also name someone to make such decisions if the patient is unable to do so. This is usually called naming a Power of Attorney for Health Care. The United States has a law that requires most medical facilities to provide information on advance care directives to every patient when they are admitted.
There are a number of advantages of preparing care directives before they are needed. First of all is that it can take away the worry of what care would be administered. Family members are not burdened with wondering what their mother, grandmother, father or other relative desires or prefers as to treatments and care. Extra measures and interventions can be avoided when a patient actually prefers they not be employed which could alleve possible suffering, frustration and upset for the patient. Legal concerns can be avoided because nothing is done and nothing is withheld that the patient might want.
Some examples of advance care directives are simply verbal instructions. This is often what must be relied upon when a person does not put anything in writing. People that are especially close, such as parents and children, spouses, or best friends, often know from discussions what the patient prefers.
Another type of advanced care directive is organ donation. This is done again verbally by a family member who knows that the patient would want that to happen. Another way of donation is by an organ donation card or in some states, a drivers license notation. Of course that...
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