Nobody wants to think about the end of life, let alone plan for it but making arrangements for what should happen at the end of your life is one of the most important things you can do in your life.
And if you have been advised to pursue this avenue, you will likely be designing an Advanced Directive.
What is an Advanced Directive?
Put simply, an Advanced Directive is a legal document which officially outlines your pre-determined decisions about the end of your life. These are decisions you have made far ahead of time, and put into writing in the event that you cannot make the requests yourself. It outlines not only what you would like your doctor to do but also helps you to communicate to family and friends to avoid confusion about your intention (which often involves the end of life support or the refusal of life-saving surgery).
Debunking the “Death Panel” scare
The term “Death Panel” came about during the 2009 Presidential debate; it refers to federal health care legislation in which bureaucrats would decide the fate of a terminally ill patient. It was a manufacture term that misconstrued the Advanced Directive, a part of “Obamacare” that allowed for counseling and patient control over end of life situations. Truly the exact opposite of a death panel.
Completing your Advanced Directive
Each state has its own Advanced Directive form. Also known as “Do Not Resuscitate,” this is the paperwork you need to fill out in order to make your demands. You do not need a lawyer to fill it out as it becomes legally valid once you sign it in front of a witness.
More information may be found at: http://www.cmanet.org/about/patient-resources/end-of-life-issues/
You can have multiple directives if you spend time in more than one state. Also, they never expire so once you complete it will remain unless you fill out a new one, which will replace the old one.