Advanced Medical Directives at Brookwood Baptist Health

Take control of your most important healthcare decisions

Sometimes you aren’t capable of deciding what treatments you do and do not want to receive. While your families know and love you best, preemptively deciding which life-saving treatments you want may be the best option for you. Advance directives help clarify what your wishes are so your family doesn’t have to make the difficult decisions on your behalf.

What is an advance directive?

An advance directive is used to tell your doctor and family what kind of medical care you want to receive when you’re incapable of talking or making decisions.

An example of this is a machine that breathes for you. Some may not want machines or treatment if they won’t make them feel better. Instead, they may want food and water or pain medicine. Advance directives give you the power to decide before such instances arrive.

You must be at least 19 years old to set up an advance directive. You do not need a lawyer to set up an advance directive, but you may want to talk with one beforehand. Whether or not you have an advance directive, you have the same right to get the care you need.

Types of Advance Directives:

Living Will

Living wills are used to determine what kind of care you receive when you are incapable of speaking or making decisions for yourself.

A Proxy

A proxy is the designated person you choose in your will to make decisions on your behalf should your health be compromised. When picking a proxy, be sure to speak with that person ahead of time about how you feel about different kinds of medical treatments.

Durable Power of Attorney 

Another way to pick a proxy is to sign a durable power of attorney for health care. This person can be a friend or family member and does not have to be a lawyer. This person will be given authority to make health care decisions for you on your behalf.