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March 18, 2013

Law for Older Americans

Health Care Advance Directives

How do you plan a health care advance directive?

The starting point is realizing that merely completing an advance directive form will do you very little good if you skip the planning process. The process requires that you talk about your wishes and fears and options with your physician, family and whomever you will rely on to speak for you when you cannot.

Think of the process as a continuing conversation, because it usually needs to happen more than once. Your views change as you age. And they may change dramatically if you encounter serious illness. For example, your thinking about end-of-life options would probably be different if you were a healthy age thirty-five, compared to a chronically ill eighty year-old. Completing an advance directive form should be the end product of the planning process, repeated at various turning points in our lives.

>>What is a health care advance directive?
>>How do you plan a health care advance directive?
>>Is a health care advance directive the same as a living will?
>>Why can't I just tell my doctor what I want?
>>Will doctors and hospitals recognize my advance directive?
>>What is the Patient Self-Determination Act?
>>How do you write an advance directive?
>>What kinds of decisions does a health-care agent make?
>>How do you select a health-care agent?
>>Are there any formalities of signing an advance directive?
>>Can you change or terminate your advance directive?
>>Where should you keep the directive?
>>When should you review your advance directive?
>>Is an advance directive still good when you cross state lines?

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