An Advanced Health Care Directive is a document that we recommend all clients complete. This is a guide for a patient’s agent(s) and doctors regarding what health care choices the patient would like to make if they can’t speak for themselves.
While doctors are not required to follow a directive, if they are unwilling to, they must make every reasonable effort to transfer the patient to a doctor who is willing to obey the instructions.
The statute recommends that directives include information about whether the patient would want resuscitation and/or artificial food or hydration if they were either terminally ill or in a permanent unconscious condition. In our experience these directives are more useful if they provide more guidance to doctors and families.
When working with clients who are not currently facing a terminal diagnosis, we ask them to consider various scenarios and decide what treatment philosophies they would want to guide their doctor and agent in making decisions about their care.
Questions? We can help. Contact us by email or call 206.459.1908 for more information.