The Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD) replaces earlier documents that were known as living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care. The AHCD represents an important legal document that helps to resolve critical healthcare questions and facilitate decisions at a time when an individual no longer has the capacity to make his/her own decisions.
It is a critical document for people with dependents. Some examples might be getting knocked unconscious in a pick-up basketball game, at the gym or just slipping in the produce isle. As individuals possessing spiritual awareness and being socially and morally responsible to our families, we must embrace our right to control important decisions about our health, and possibly the last chapter of our life, by putting pen to paper. Any of us could be incapable of making our own healthcare decisions due to a temporary condition.
And to help us overcome the reluctance to undertake an advanced health care directive, we have scheduled the AHCD workshop for Sunday, June 9, from 1 to 3 pm. If you don’t have an AHCD, we urge you to attend.
The task of creating an Advance Directive and sharing it with family and physician is not an easy one. Doing this requires one to think about individual priorities concerning quality of life and the potential of death. Treatment options, and their possible influence on quality of life measures, need to be fully understood and considered. The implications of choosing or refusing specific forms of care must be evaluated. In designating an agent or proxy to make decisions for you at some critical future time, you must choose someone who knows you well, who cares about you, and who can make difficult decisions when called upon to do so.