JOPLIN, Mo. - "So, an advance medical directive would be a written out document that says who you want to be your decision maker if you were in a health care crisis no matter your age," explained Palliative Care RN Gwyn Caruthers. "So, you can name a health care proxy that says 'This is the person I want to speak for me if this situation should arise.'"
It's only used when you're not able to make decisions for yourself. And, an advance medical directive means you choose your spokesman and have the chance to share your wishes with them ahead of time.
"We always assume it's going to be a parent or a spouse but it needs to be somebody who would speak for you in what you would want debase, based on your values and they don't have to be an expert in health care," Caruthers added.
In fact, medical experts call developing an advance medical directive and durable power of attorney ahead of time a gift to your loved ones.
"So many times, we're talking to patients and families and are making tough decisions, but they can say 'You know what? I know that this is what Mom wants'" Caruthers added. "It gives them peace. It's still hard, but it gives them peace."
The Freeman Medical Focus was sponsored by Freeman Health System.