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3 options for making future medical decisions

On Behalf of | Jun 12, 2023 | Estate Planning

A situation may arise in the future where you become incapacitated. You need medical decisions to be made, but you can’t do it yourself. This is one of the major reasons why people will begin the estate planning process. They want a plan in place in case this scenario plays out.

But there are multiple ways to do it. Here are three different options that you have.

Do not resuscitate

First and foremost, some people will simply use a DNR order, or a do not resuscitate order. This document means that medical teams can provide treatment, but they should not use life-support or bring the person back if they stop breathing or their heart stops beating. If you’re worried about being kept on life-support for a long time, this is a simple way to prevent it.

Using an advance directive

The problem with a DNR order is that it only applies to one specific scenario. But an advanced directive can be used to lay out any medical directions that you would want. You can tell the doctors about treatment that you’re not interested in, for example, and leave instructions on types of treatment that you would like to try. It’s a bit more flexible.

A medical power of attorney

Finally, the most flexible option is just to use a power of attorney. You don’t make any medical decisions with this document. Instead, you pick an agent. The document gives that agent the legal ability to make your decisions for you, based on the information they have on hand at the time.

No matter which option you are interested in using, be sure you know what legal steps to take to set it up.