An advance health care directive is a written document authorized under California law that allows you to take control of your medical care. By creating an advance directive before you become too ill to refuse certain medical treatments, you can take control of your future health care while you are still mentally able to do so. However, if you become mentally incompetent or unable to create an advance directive, you lose control of the ability to choose medical treatments.
Some states refer to advance health care directives as “living wills,” “personal directives,” “advance medical directive.” or “medical powers of attorney.” By using an advance directive, you can appoint someone else to make medical decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. Obviously, you should appoint an adult you trust. If you do not want medical professionals to use advance life-saving procedures, you need to state this in your advance medical directive.
Creating an advance directive before it’s too late is imperative. You cannot create an advance medical directive if you become mentally incoherent. Because you may not be able to control these events, you should consider creating an advance directive now. Those with chronic health conditions or terminal illnesses face unique challenges, and by considering health care issues now, they can minimize the chances of receiving medical treatments they would have refused.