Advance Directives Are Necessary
Living wills and other advance directives
are written, legal instructions regarding your preferences for
medical care if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
Advance directives guide choices for providers and caregivers
if you are mentally incapacitated due to illness, injury, anesthesia,
medication, or end of life.
Advance directives aren't just for older adults. Unexpected
situations can happen at any age, so it's important for all
adults to prepare these documents.
By planning ahead, you can get the medical care
you want, avoid unnecessary suffering and relieve caregivers
of decision-making burdens during moments of crisis or grief.
You also help reduce confusion or disagreement about the choices
you would want people to make on your behalf.
Medical Patient Modesty
encourages everyone to have advance directives that illustrate
their wishes about intimate procedures, nursing home care, and
type of anesthesia for any surgeries they might have.
We have been contacted by many people who were
who were taken off guard when they are in a vulnerable position.
These patients were violated during procedures because they
were sedated or under anesthesia and unable to object to intimate
procedures (ex: urinary catheter insertion, shaving of pubic
area, etc.) being performed on them without their knowledge
or expressed consent. Advance directives would help eliminate
such traumatic experiences because they legally bind providers
to honoring your wishes during treatment. This is information
that should be discussed during the informed consent process,
but it is often not. Yet vague consent forms allow providers
to get away with leaving out information that some patients
would deem important regarding their medical experience. Advance
directives force providers to have conversations with patients
that should be occurring during a true informed consent process.
Be aware, however, that consent forms have a provision
to suspend advance directives. This provision should
be struck through, thereby legally binding providers and staff
to honor your directives. However, this may result in the provider
refusing to treat you, prompting you to seek treatment elsewhere.
But at least you will have the peace of mind knowing that all
of your wishes have been communicated. This is why these directives
Each state has different forms and
requirements for creating legal documents. Depending on where
you live, a form may need to be signed by a witness or notarized.
You can ask a lawyer to help you with the process, but it is
generally not necessary. Be aware that lawyers will often charge
you if they have to assist you in preparing your directives.
Check out a sample
advance directive for a North Carolina woman that includes
special instructions about intimate procedures,
surgeries, etc. starting on page
4. She makes it clear that she will not accept
any male medical personnel for any procedures that involve visual
or physical access of intimate body parts that are covered by
a two-piece bathing suit. She also makes it clear she will not
be under general anesthesia or sedated. You can use this as
an example, but keep in mind each state may have different requirements
for advance directives. Fill in the red parts with your health
agent’s name, your name, and other information.
When you have completed your documents, you need
to do the following:
- Keep the originals in a safe but easily accessible
- Give a copy to your doctor.
- Give a copy to your health care agent and
any alternate agents.
- Keep a record of who has your advance directives.
- Talk to family members and other important
people in your life about your advance directives and your
health care wishes. By having these conversations now, you
help ensure that your family members clearly understand your
wishes. Having a clear understanding of your preferences can
help your family members avoid conflict and feelings of guilt.
- Create and carry a wallet-sized card that
indicates you have advance directives, identifies your health
care agent and states where a copy of your directives can
be found. Here's an example of a wallet-sized health
care advance directive card you can create.
- Keep a copy with you when you are traveling.
wills and advance directives for medical decisions - Mayo Clinic
Directives Tell Your Surgery Wishes?
To Check Out:
Should Know About Surgery
Underwear Removal For Surgeries
Versed, and Your Procedure
Concerns for Procedures and Surgeries
You Should Have a Personal Advocate For Surgery?
and Your Modesty
and Your Modesty - Youtube Video