If you have not already done so, you should think about completing an Advance Health Care Directive. Also known as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care, an Advance Health Care Directive can help ensure that your wishes concerning your medical care are followed if you are unable to make your own health care decisions. You can designate a person to be your “agent” in making some or all health care decisions for you at any time that you may not be able to make such decisions for yourself. Your agent can be anyone over age 18, except your physician or his/her employees.
Under California law, all adults of sound mind have the right to make their own decisions with regard to accepting or refusing medical treatment or life-sustaining procedures. The multi-part Advance Health Care Directive is a legal document through which you can communicate your wishes about the care and treatment you want—or don’t want—if you reach a point where you are no longer able to make or articulate your own health care decisions. You may want to discuss these decisions with your physician and family members.
Talk to your PCP about setting up an Advance Health Care Directive. They make very good legal sense for anyone over 18 years of age.