The Significance Of An Advance Health Care Directive
The Advance Health Care Directive permits an individual to designate another person (usually a spouse or close family member or friend) to make health care decisions on his or her behalf in the event s/he becomes incapacitated. This document frequently becomes important during serious or terminal health conditions, and empowers a specific person/agent to carry out the principal‘s wishes with regard to, among other things, artificial life–sustaining treatments.
In addition to providing the legal authority to ensure an individual‘s end of life treatment preferences are honored and implemented, the Advance Health Care Directive can also be essential for maintaining family harmony. In the absence of a single decider, significant (and sometimes permanent) disagreements can erupt among family members (particularly the dying individual‘s children) regarding the discontinuation of life–sustaining treatments.