No one wishes to be incapacitated and unable to make decisions about their health care. But it is something we should all consider and in Georgia we have a document that gives instructions as to your wishes if you are unable to make those decisions.
The Advance Directive for Health Care (“ADHC”) is a document that gives someone you choose the power to make health care decisions for you if you are unable to do so and also allows you to make your wishes known about what life sustaining medical treatment you want if you are terminally ill or permanently unconscious. The ADHC is not just for the elderly, anyone, at any age, could become incapacitated from illness or an accident.
The person you choose to make medical decisions for you is your agent. Your agent should be someone you trust, someone who has your best interests at heart, and someone who understands your wishes and will act accordingly.
Your ADHC will express your choices to your health care providers to either prolong your life or not prolong your life and also to keep you pain free according to your stated wishes. You may also indicate in the ADHC whether or not you wish to be an organ donor.
An ADHC is another document, along with your Will and Financial Power of Attorney, that will express your wishes when you are no longer able or capable of doing so.